Friday, 10 October 2014

Preface : False Beginnings ( The Key)

Preface : False Beginnings

  “Almost to the top” he thought, “just    a few more feet and the I will reach the top. “ It was a good thing, because he knew he couldn’t have gone on much longer. He had been climbing the side of the rocky mountain  for almost an hour. His hands had numerous scratches, his arms felt they were going to come out of their sockets, and his legs were in excruciating pain. He had to   reach the top to find HER, so she could guild him to the path to find the “the Key” The key that would save men’s soul’s from total destruction and the demons of the underworld.

       He could smell her before he saw her, as he finally reached the top. But it wasn’t an unpleasant smell. It was of a warm summer day, like freshly cut grass, recently ploughed fields and flowers that had just blossomed. But she was a Goddess of the Earth, she came from the ground, and her blood, sweat and tears always went back into it to make sure all living things was reborn. He thought he would fall right back into the raging sea below him, when he looked upon her face for the first time, for she wasn’t the beautiful woman of legends, she was an old crone . Her grey hair was unwashed, long and straggly filled with dirt and leaves. Her dress had become rags long ago, her nails were ragged and broken and she looked like she hadn’t taken a bath in years much less weeks. Where was the dazzling beauty he had heard so many stories about? The one that left a trail of broken and bloody hearts, across the   world. It was said that men were  willing to pierce their hearts with their own sword, just to lay   with her one time. But all those thoughts left his head, as soon as she smiled at him, because when she did, it lit up not only her face but her whole being. He finally understood what is meant by pure and undulated beauty. He fell at her feet, not only because he felt that is what he should do, but he was totally spent and couldn’t move one more step.

“Stand up my child” her voice seemed to sing to him. “I can’t Mother, I just need to lay here and rest for awhile” he replied. “Stand” she demanded as she laid her rough and gnarled hand upon his head. At once all his energy came back to him, and stood up. “Come sit with me “she said to him. He looked over to where she was walking to, and saw a bench. When they sat down together, she said, “Here take a drink of this” She handed him a chalice and in it was some of the sweetest water he had ever tasted. It felt very refreshing and cool going down his throat. He had never tasted anything better.  “What do you seek of me? “The   old woman   asked him. “Mother, I was told to seek you out, so you could guide me to the   path I must take to find “the key” he replied back. “ She looked into his eyes then, and held them. He felt he was looking into eyes from the beginning of time itself, but yet she was shielding her inner thoughts. “Sometimes, there are paths we are led down by others which are false.” She said. “Wha….” He started to say, as the ground beneath his feet began to shake, and off in the distance he could see the rider on the black steed coming in fast towards them. The horse of death. The figure cloaked in darkness reached down and with one hand swooped him upon the back of the horse. The raging sea drowned out his screams, as the horse took a leap off of the cliff and disappeared.

“Your path ends here my son” the old crone spoke as she turned around and headed back to which she had come from.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

The Train to Somewhere

Standing on the deserted platform of the train station, she pulls her tattered and torn coat closer around herself as the cold November wind suddenly becomes more intense. It takes her breath. She can feel it right to her bones. She is never warm though, even in the summer heat of August. Her body feels dead, much like her soul. She looks over her shoulder  at the clock on the  station wall. Her train is late, but it always is. When you’re going no where, time is in no rush to get there. As the sun sets, the lamp posts around the station come on, but they give no comfort. It’s just another automatic thing happening in her very predictable life. She hears the train approaching. As it pulls up slowly to the station, it gives off one sad sounding warning. The train is old and worn out. Like her, it is tired, tired of just existing with no purpose, but to just move ahead.  When it comes to a stop, she looks into the cars of the train, looks at the blank faces of the people on board. They don’t take any notice of her, just staring ahead with no emotion. They are all heading down the same sad and endless track.  The train attendant steps off the train. He has taken her ticket many times before, but there is smile for a greeting, no warm hello. He just looks at her and says “Boarding now for the train to nowhere.”
    As she picks up her worn out suitcase, the lights along the track flicker a couple of times then go out. She hears a train approaching from the other side of the platform going in the opposite direction. As it pulls up to the platform, it shines so bright, that she needs to cover her eyes for a moment. She has never seen this train before, but it gives her a feeling of warmth and peace. She doesn’t know why, she is just drawn to it. So she picks up her suitcase, and heads towards the other platform. The train attendant says. “I can’t wait for you. We have to go on.” But she doesn’t answer him, just keeps walking, never looking back. As she gets closer to the train, she walks a bit faster, almost running. She has a feeling of exaltation, a feeling of hope.
     Inside the cars of the train is lit up like the fourth of July, the Christmases of her youth. When she still saw the world as new and wonderful, and before she lost faith, faith in the people in it, faith in herself. The people on the train conversations are animated. They are laughing, they seem happy, they seem alive. Then suddenly they all look at her and smile.  The doors open and the train attendant steps out. He too is smiling at her. He says “Boarding train to somewhere Miss.” He steps aside so she can climb up the steps. She starts up them, but suddenly, she feels hesitant, scared even. She doesn’t know where this journey will take her, maybe the people on board means her harm. Maybe she will get lost along the way. Maybe she will end up alone in a place she doesn’t know.  She has never taken a ride into the unknown.
    “Don’t be afraid dear” the attendant says to her, taking her hand and leading her up the steps. His hand is firm but not tight. It is warm and comforting. Just as her Father’s hand used to be when she was a little girl. “Your journey is unknown but your destination is not. Your train to a better future starts right   now, and you will find strength and confidence along the way. Just take the first step.”
    She looks into his eyes, and sees her reflection in them, and she is smiling. She steps aboard and the door closes. As the train pulls away, she looks out at the dark and deserted train station for the last time, and then she turns towards the welcoming light of the train and a sense of purpose for the first time.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

“You’re an Evil Man John Dobbs”

John Dobbs hated going to the laundromat, but then again John Dobbs hated most people and things.  He hated his ex girlfriend for throwing him out for his supposed “rape” of her 14 year old Sister. The little bitch had been flirting with him non- stop, so when he finally responded then she said he had forced himself on her. His ex had said the only reason she didn’t press charges was because she didn’t want her Sister to have to go through that. Whatever, they both could go to hell.  He hated his manager Mr. Able at his part time job at the Chicken Delight. Able was always on his ass about coming in late, and having the smell of alcohol on his breath. When his shift ended last night, Able told John that he was on his final warning. Good, John thought. Able could stick his minimum wage job up his ass. Ever since his ex Rachel had kicked John out of her Manhattan apartment, John had been living in a roach and rat infested apartment building in the South Bronx. It was full of Hispanics and Blacks always playing their music non- stop or beating up their wives or girlfriends. John hated living there, but the rent was dirt cheap. His next door neighbour said she knew he had kicked her little “Parker” down the stairs. The dog had died a day later of internal bleeding. Oh well, the bitch should have kept it inside and from barking all day and night.  But of all of the shit in his life, John hated the Laundromat the most.
The Sit and Spin Laundromat had been at the corner of 53rd and Euclid for 30 years, and John didn’t think that anything had been done to the place since it was first built. It remained dirty and always smelled like mould, with the paint peeling from the walls, and cobwebs covering the rusted pipes along the ceiling. He was surprised he didn’t catch something from just walking into the place.  The washers and dryers were old and dilapidated, and there were always some out of order. The fat and lazy attendant Rosie was usually asleep in the office, snoring loudly, mouth gaped wide open with droll running down her three chins. When John had to wake her up to get change, he felt like putting his fist down her ugly throat. He would do his laundry somewhere else but his car had been broke down for the last six months, and the Sit and Spin was only a few blocks from his apartment building.  Today when he got to the laundromat, it was more crowed then usual.  It was full of Hispanic women with their bratty kids running around, because the women were too busy talking and laughing, and not paying attention to their kids. John had to wait for a half hour for a free washer, and because it was too cold to stand outside, he was stuck inside with the bitches. The more he sat the angrier he got. They didn’t have a care in the world, taking their sweet time, while their dirty and smelly brats ran around like little monsters. But why should the women care? They were in his country illegally, collecting welfare, and always the first line for a free handout. John imagined coming into the laundromat like in the movies, dressed in a long black leather coat, hair slicked back, wearing sunglasses and a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. Armed with an AK- 47 he would shoot the whole place up. Eat your heart out Arnold.
His daydream was interrupted by a little boy slipping on the floor and falling into John’s lap. The boy had been running around the Laundromat for the last ten minutes. Without giving it much thought, John pushed the little boy away so hard that the boy fell backwards and hit his head on a leg of a folding table. Everything in the Laundromat stopped, all the women looking to see what had happened. One of them must have seen John push the little boy because her voice grew angry sounding and she was pointing to John while she talked to another woman, who apparently was the boy’s Mother. She came over to the boy, and bent down, picking him up and looking him over while saying something to John in Spanish. He knew she was cursing at him but he didn’t really care. While the boy was wailing like he was dying, John could see that the boy wasn’t seriously hurt. There wasn’t any cuts or blood. “Fuck this” John thought, and said angrily to the woman that she should be watching her kid more. He got his clothes and banged out the door, the boy’s Mother still yelling at him. As soon as he got out the door, heading back to his apartment, he heard a woman’s voice behind him say
“You’re an evil man John Dobbs. “
When John turned around, he saw a very old woman standing in front of the laundromat. She was wearing what looked like a bunch or rags, and even though it was winter, she wore no shoes. She had long stringy grey hair, and her face was covered in lines and wrinkles, but her eyes were very bright and very blue. John walked over to her.
“Who the hell are you and how do you know my name? “He asked her.
In a deep voice with a foreign accent she said, “I am the collector of dead souls. I take the souls of those without hope and redemption, and very soon I’ll be coming for yours John Dobbs.”
Then the old woman smiled showing him a mouth of blackened stumps. John looked at the woman startled. It felt like the blood had left his body, and there was a ringing in his ears. He went to grab her arm, and all of a sudden there was a commotion down the street. A young boy was running out of store, with a man chasing him yelling “Stop, come back here thief!” John turned back towards the woman again, but she was gone. He looked up and down the sidewalk, and even in the window of the laundromat , but she was nowhere in sight. As the boy ran past him, he turned and looked at John. The boy’s eyes were completely black. He smiled with a mouthful of fangs, and said to him. “See you in hell soon mister.” John blinked a few times and shook his head. “What’s wrong with me.” he thought. He hadn’t smoked any crack or took any acid for awhile.  “It’s probably just this lousy city and all the stupid fucking people in it. It’s making me crazy.” He said under his breath, as he picked up his clothes and made his way back to his apartment. As soon as he could, he was going to get the hell out of here.
Everything was normal for about a week, and then John started seeing the old woman everywhere. He would be on the bus looking out the window, and he would see her standing on a corner, smiling at him as he rode by. Other time he would be standing at the counter of the Stop and Save  and he would look up at the mirror and see the old woman standing behind him, but when he turned around she wasn’t there. When he walked down the street, there would be someone coming towards him, and as they passed, he would hear her voice laugh and say “Soon John Dobbs.” He kept dismissing it as his mind playing tricks, until the night he was getting his dick sucked by a crack whore in the hallway of his apartment building. He was enjoying it until he looked down and the saw the face of the old woman looking up at him. She opened her mouth wide, and then suddenly hundreds of insects came pouring out of her mouth. Roaches, centipedes, spiders, and beetles were crawling out and crawling all over him. John screamed and pushed the old woman back, frantically brushing the bugs off, when he heard the prostitute’s voice.
“What the hell is wrong with you,” she screamed at him, getting up off the floor, and stomping down the stairs. “You need some serious help asshole.”
John thought he was going to pass out. He sat down on the floor, closed his eyes and tried to get his breath. He could feel his heart beating wildly in his chest. He didn’t know what the fuck was going on. All he knew was that in two days when he got paid, he was buying a bus ticket and heading upstate to his Sister Carol’s place. But first he needed to go the laundromat
The next morning, when John go to the laundromat there was only a couple of women there.
 When he went to the back to get change, Rosie was nowhere in sight. So John just helped himself to some quarters  she always kept on the desk. Seeing that Rosie wasn’t there or no one was watching him, he stuck some bills in the pockets of his jeans. As John started putting his clothes in the washer, he felt like he was being watched. But the two women that had been there were now gone. He was completely alone. Rosie must have gone out for lunch, although it was strange that she would leave the office unlocked. John started his laundry.
All of sudden, John heard the old woman laughing; looking around he didn’t see her. The laughing was getting louder, and it sounded like it was coming from everywhere in the room at once. John put his hands over his ears and screamed “Leave me alone you crazy bitch!” It suddenly stopped. He had enough, clothes or not, he was getting the hell out of here. He ran over to the door, but it wouldn’t open. “What the hell” He said pushing and pulling the door handle. He checked the back of the store, but there wasn’t another way out. John ran back up to the front of the store and saw people walking up and down the sidewalk so John started banging on the window.
“Hey hey”! He screamed, but no one paid him any attention. It was like they didn’t seem him, like he wasn’t even there.   The overhead florescent lights began to flicker and make popping noises. The air became so thick and dense that John couldn’t breathe. All of a sudden every single washer and dryer started up. They were shaking and making god- awful noises that sounded like people screaming in high pitched voices. “Please” he tried screaming over the top of the noise. “Let me go!”
All the machines stopped as suddenly as they had started, and then the lights went out.
It was completely dark, like being in a basement with no windows or a cave with no light. It was pitch black, even outside. John could feel he wasn’t alone anymore though. There was this sickening smell filling the room, like dead bodies that had been rotting in the August heat all day. Then the growling started. John slide to the floor and began to whimper.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Salvation (Full Story)

Her breath is labored, her heart is racing. Running fast, running for her life. She cannot stop, she cannot look back. She hears him coming up fast behind her, closing in every second. The full moon is shining brightly on the forest path. It is her beacon. It allows her to see the cottage in the meadow, just beyond the trees. There is an orange glow in every window. It’s her salvation. His children of the forest howl in anticipation. She has made it through the forest, but trips on her dress. Crawling through the snow, she only has a few feet more to go she feels his breath on the back of her neck. She turns over to fight him off. But he is too powerful. He pins her to the ground, pressing into her. She looks into his shimmering eyes. She tries to scream but he silences her with his mouth He smells her fear, her adrenaline. He wants her. His long black hair brushes over her bared breasts, he takes her. Her resistance gives way to pleasure, to want. As she feels his fangs bite into her soft flesh of her neck, she looks up as a cloud passes over the moon. She knows she is completely his now. She is his companion, his lover, his salvation.
Tara sat straight up in bed. With her heart pounding, she looked around dazed for a moment. Then realized it was only a dream. It was the same one that Tara had every night for the last couple of weeks. ”Yawning, and running her hand through her hair she thought, “Maybe I need to quit studying so hard, maybe I need a psychiatrist, or maybe I just   need some really good sex!” .  “Shit, I am late!” She said as she looked at the clock on her nightstand. She was supposed to meet her best friend Isabella for lunch before her afternoon classes started, So Tara quickly texted Isabella letting her know she would be running late and then she jumped in the shower. A little while later as she looked into the mirror, brushing her long auburn hair, Tara didn’t think she was hideous looking or anything, she just never thought herself to be a “head turner” She could lose a few pounds and she wasn’t crazy about the splash of freckles on her cheeks and nose, but others were always telling her how pretty she was. They would compliment Tara on her light green eyes and her smile. “Oh well” she thought putting on her coat and hurrying out the door. “Hopefully in the next life, I will be so beautiful that men will fall down on their knees and worship me as a Goddess. Yeah right Tara.”

 She caught the underground train to Piccadilly Circus and got to the café about twenty minutes later. The café was busy at this time of the day, but Isabella had been able to save them a table. Looking up Isabella noticed Tara, and waved her over.
 “Hello darling” Isabella said. “I didn’t think you were going to make it in time.”

 Not only was Isabella Tara’s best friend but a guardian angel for her too. Two years ago, Tara had moved from Lancaster Pennsylvania to England to study at the University of London. Her family had traveled on holidays to England a few times while Tara was growing up, but visiting a foreign country was a lot different from actually living in one. Isabella had been a lifesaver helping Tare adjust to living in London.
“I am sorry” Tara said sitting down and taking off her coat.  “I haven’t been sleeping very well the last couple of days.”
 Looking at Tara with concern Isabella asked “why hon, what’s going on?”

 The waiter had come to table to take their order, so Tara waited till he was gone and said.
 “Well, it’s rather silly, but I’ve been having the same dream every night for the last two weeks.”
 “What kind of dream?” Isabella asked her. Tara quickly told her about the dream.

 “But what is really strange “Tara said, “I can never make out his face in the dream. I can only see his eyes.”
“Oh it sounds like you are going to meet the man of your dreams that unfortunately might also be a vampire.” Isabella said laughing slightly. “But seriously Tara, I think you have been stressing over your classes and you need to get out of the city for awhile. Since we are having our winter break soon, then we could go visit my Great Aunt Doreen in Somerset. She lives alone in this huge house, and wouldn’t mind your company too. We could visit Glastonbury and make a time of it! What do you say? You might even meet a really nice bloke. As long as he doesn’t have a thing against crosses and garlic right? “Isabella said smiling at Tara.
Tara smiled back and said “you always know how to make me feel better Isabella. I would love to, and you’re right I might meet a nice guy there.” Isabella herself never had problems finding guys. She was a beauty with her long curly brunette   hair, and beautiful brown eyes. When she walked into a room everyone noticed   her, but Isabella’s heart was as beautiful as her looks, and that is why Tara viewed Isabella more like a sister, then just a friend.
Two weeks later, the two were headed to Somerset in Isabella’s red mini. The English countryside was breathtaking, with its beautiful green fields and trees lining the narrow roads. Tara was imagining all the ancient battles that had been fought over the centuries on this land. Men either on horseback or engaged in hand to hand combat, with shields and bows. They would be fighting for the land; their rich blood seeping deep into it, and turning the rivers and streams red. She really liked the small villages they would drive through. The quaint cottages, churches, and cemeteries hadn’t seemed to catch up with the rest of the modern world. Tara loved it all. A light snow had started to fall when they left London, but the time they arrived at Isabella’s aunt’s home, it was really coming down, and soon it would be  a winter wonderland.  
“Wow” Tara said when they pulled up to the manor. It was stunning! On one side of the house was a long wall covered in moss and on the other were rows of trimmed bushes. The house’s exterior was a rich brown marble, with three high arches, and it had beautiful brown rustic windows. 
“Your aunt lives here by herself?” Tara asked Isabella. 
“No” Isabella said, Her friend Jean has lived here, ever since my Uncle Robert died 10 years ago, so it’s just the two of them. You will be surprised though how well my Aunt gets around for being 75 years old. She has enough energy for a 25 year old!
 A very old woman wearing a black dress with a crucifix around her neck, answered the door for Tara and Isabella. Tara couldn’t stop looking at the crucifix, because for some strange reason it fascinated her. 

 “Hiya Jean!” Isabella said. “Did you miss me? “ As she and Tara set their suitcases down, and drawing Tara’s attention away from the crucifix.
“Of course I have dearie” You haven’t been out in such a long time.” The old woman said back smiling. 
Isabella began to explain how busy she had been and while she was talking, Tara noticed Jean staring at her, with a strange look on her face. She looked frightened almost.
“So my best friend Tara has come with me” Isabella was saying. “Tara say hello to Jean, my Aunt Doreen dearest and oldest friend.”
“It’s Nice to meet you.” Tara said holding out her hand to the woman.
Jean seemed reluctant to shake Tara’s hand. “It’s nice to meet you too.” She said back in a whisper of a voice. “She quickly let go of Tara’s hand and said to Isabella.”`Your Aunt is fixing tea. So let’s go back to the kitchen ’ 
As they made their way through the house, Tara was admiring the beauty of it. The furniture was made of solid dark wood, and the floors and tall pillars of marble. There were tapestries on the walls, depicting scenes of medieval life. But it was the gothic winding staircase that Tara loved the most. When they entered the kitchen, there was an elderly woman with her back to them. She was stirring a pot on the stove; she turned around and looked very happy to see Isabella.
“Hello darling” she said as Isabella went over and gave her a hug and kiss on the cheek. Tara liked her instantly. Doreen had a genuine smile, and was a beautiful woman, who really didn’t look her age.
“Hello Auntie Doreen” Isabella said. I am so happy to be here.”
“It’s nice to have you here. We have really missed your company, and this must be your friend Tara She said looking at Tara.”Welcome to my home dear.”
“Thank you” Tara replied,” It is very beautiful.”
“Cheers dear. It has been in my Robert’s (God rest his soul,) family for many generations. This house is steeped in a long and colorful history.”  But enough talk of that right now. After dinner, Isabella can give you the grand tour , but for now let’s eat girls!”
After a very delicious dinner, they visited for awhile with Jean and Doreen in the family room. Tara could see where Isabella got her warm and bubbly personality, because Doreen had the same one, and made Tara felt like she was part of the family. Jean on hand was still giving off strange vibes to her. Tara would catch her staring at her, and she really didn’t have a lot to say. She was beginning to feel very uncomfortable around the old woman.
Isabella showed Tara briefly around the house, sharing with her stories of her Aunt Doreen’s life.

A bit later as Tara and Isabella was going up the staircase to their rooms; Tara said “I don’t think Doreen likes me much. She kept staring at me, and I got a very weird feeling from her.”
“I hope so.” Tara replied as they reached their rooms.
“Since your right next door to me, if you have another one of your dreams, then you can always come snuggle with me” Isabella said.
“I am sure I will be fine, but if I do get scared I will.” Tara said laughing as she hugged Isabella. “Good night.” 
“Night love” Isabella said. “It’s not supposed to snow anymore tonight, so we can a make day of it in Glastonbury.” 
After getting ready for bed, Tara got under the warm covers of her four poster bed. Yawning she said, “I will be waiting for you mystery man of my dreams.” She fell asleep instantly. 
But the next morning, when she woke up, she realized she hadn’t had the strange dream. “Isabella must have been right. I just needed to get away.”
A little while later, Isabella knocked on Tara’s door, before going in. “Good morning “She said, “How you’d sleep? “
 “Like a rock.” Tara replied, “And I didn’t have the dream.”
“Oh how wonderful” Isabella said looking out the bedroom window. “Didn’t I tell you it was just stress? Come on then and get ready. There isn’t much snow, but we are in the country now, so it’s going to bloody cold. Bundle up babes!” 
They spent all day in Glastonbury. Tara really enjoyed visiting the magical shops. Every time she walked into one she could feel the positive energy, and the bookstores were fun to browse through.  Tara loved the legends and myths about King Arthur, Guinevere, and the Knights of the Round Table, so she was disappointed that because of the snow that she and Isabella didn’t make the long trek up the hill to Glastonbury Tor, but they did visit the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey.
 Tara and Isabella were walking along the grounds of the Abbey, and Isabella was talking about the history of it, when Tara saw him. 
He was standing a few feet ahead of them between parts of the ruins and staring at Tara. Dressed all in black, with the wind blowing through his long dark hair, she knew it was the man of her dreams. Tara couldn’t move, she couldn’t think. It felt like someone had punched her hard in the stomach, and all the blood had drained from her face. Isabella had continued ahead, still talking, till she realized that Tara wasn’t beside her anymore. 
“What are you..” Isabella started to ask her till she saw Tara’s face. “What is it darling?  She said with concern.”You look as if you’ve seen a ghost.”
“It’s him” Tara said pointing ahead of them.
“Who, where?” Isabella replied looking to where Tara was pointing. “I don’t see anyone.”
Isabella was right, He was gone. Was Tara day dreaming? Was she going crazy? But she laughed and said “Oh nothing, It has been a long day. I think I am letting my imagination run wild and seeing ghosts of the abbey.”
“Oh okay” Isabella said frowning. Tara knew she didn’t believe her. But Isabella wasn’t the type to pry. She knew Tara would tell her what really was going on, when Tara was ready. When they got back to Doreen’s, Tara said she had a slight headache, and she was going to bed early. But really she just wanted to be alone to think about what happened at the abbey.
“Are you sure you’re ok? “ Isabella asked her before Tara went upstairs.
“Yes, I am just tired. It has been a long day but I had a wonderful time. Thank you.” Tara replied hugging Isabella good night.
Standing at the window, and looking at the night moon, Tara began to think about the man at the abbey. Even though she had never seen his face clearly in her dreams, she knew that it was him. The feeling was too strong. Tara felt she was close to discovering who he was, and why he was so important to her, but he was just out of reach. It was like she was underwater trying to swim to the surface. She can see him waiting for her, his hand out, waiting to pull Tara up. But it’s like Tara is swimming in place, and she is not able to swim any further up.

 This time in her dream, Tara is standing in front of a set of double doors. She opened the doors to a large brightly lit ballroom. It was full of people dressed in beautiful costumes, each wearing decorated masks. Tara looked down at herself, and she too was wearing a beautiful deep red dress that had a long train, that flowed out across the floor. On top of Tara’s head, was a red veil that covered the front of her face. As she walked towards the front of the room, everyone parted for her and as she passed, the men would bow their heads and the women would curtsy. When Tara got to the end of the room, the man of her dreams was standing there, his back to her.  He turned around, and spoke to Tara for the first time.
“Welcome home my darling.” He said taking her hand and pulling her close to him. Looking into his deep brown eyes, Tara did feel like she was finally home. He lifted the red veil from Tara’s face, and gently kissed her pale lips with his  red ones. When they parted, he said “look my dear, we have a present for you” Everyone in the room had gathered around them, their masks removed, their eyes and faces filled with hunger. A man appeared holding a beautiful young girl with long blood hair. She was completely nude, and struggling against the man.
“Please Madame Let me go” she begged looking at Tara. “I don’t want to die like this, without absolution.”
“Shhh my child” Tara said running her hand through the girl’s honey colored hair. “
The hunger Tara felt was almost unbearable. She looked into the girl’s green eyes, and at once the girl stopped struggling. Tara kissed the girl’s soft lips gently, and then pushed her hair back from her neck. She bit into the soft flesh, tasting the warm virgin blood. Tara held the girl close to her, drinking slowly savoring the blood. She then pushed the girl to the others. It didn’t take long for their mouths to cover every inch of the girl’s body, making low growling noises, draining the girl of her life’s blood.
“Oh god” Tara said sitting up in bed, her whole body trembling. It had seem so real, more like a memory then just a dream. It was still early morning, the sun was just started to rise, and so Tara thought she would go downstairs while everyone was still asleep, and get a glass of water to try and calm her nerves. She knew there was something wrong. This was more than stress. But Tara didn’t want Isabella to worry about her, or treat her any different, so when she got back to London, Tara would make an appointment with her doctor, and not tell Isabella.   As she walking down the stairs, Tara suddenly heard Jean’s voice behind her.
“I know you who you are. You took my precious Mary from me, but I am not frightened of you. I will enjoy watching you die as I put a stake through your cold dead heart.”
Startled, Tara turned around and saw the old woman standing at the top of the stairs “What in the name of god are you talking about? “ I’ve never met you till I came here, and I don’t know any Mary. I don’t know who you think I am you old crazy woman.” 
Jean all at once let out a short scream and ran down the stairs towards Tara. She grabbed a hold of Tara’s neck and started choking her.

 “Die you evil span of the devil, die!” she said. Her eyes filled with rage and madness.
“Get off of me!” Tara said trying to get the other woman’s hands off around her neck, but the old woman was strong for someone her age. They struggled causing the both of them to lose their balance, and tumbling down the rest of the stairs till they reached the floor of the hallway. Tara wasn’t hurt just dazed for a minute. But when she looked over at Jean, she knew the woman was dead, by the way Jean’s neck was twisted at a unnatural angle. A light suddenly came on upstairs, and Tara panicked. She thought the police would suspect her of something, since she’s been having these crazy dreams, and seeing things. Tara jumped up and ran out the front door, only wearing a night gown, and slippers. But she didn’t care, she had to get away. Tara didn’t care about the cold, or the snow soaking her shoes. She just kept running, just like in her dreams. She suddenly tripped and fell on her knees, He was there holding his hand out to her. 
“Come Sophia, it’s time to go home.” He said as he pulled her up from the ground.
As soon as he touched her hand, she remembered really who she was .

 Her name was Sophia Brentworth. She had been born in 1792, to an aristocratic family in Paris, France. When Sophia had been seventeen years old, her father had lost all the families money and fortune after years of gambling and other unscrupulous dealings. He then committed suicide, and it was just her and her mother struggling to survive. Sophia’s mother became an alcoholic, and a year later she too was dead. Sophia was totally alone then. Having no home, she began to steal and panhandle on the streets of Paris. It was on a cold December night much like this one, when Sophia had her life and soul stolen away, when she had been made a vampiress. Sophia had been standing at her usual spot for the last two hours selling small cheap trinkets that she had stolen from shopkeepers. Sophia was cold and tired but she was also very hungry. So she did her best to ignore the bitter cold wind that took her breath and cut through her thin coat and gloves, just to make a few pennies. Sophia looked up and saw a tall man with long black hair smiling down at her. He had an angelic face, but it was his dark brown eyes with long eyelashes that mesmerized Sophia so that she couldn’t think for a moment.
Sophia regained her compose though and said “Would you like to buy a pretty brooch sir? “
“Take a walk with me Chérie.” He replied in a gentle and musical voice that flowed sweetly throughout Sophia’s whole body, as he took her hand. 
It seemed like the most natural thing to do.  They walked down the sidewalk for a few minutes before he led her into a darkened alleyway. They stopped and he pulled Sophia closer to him.
“You don’t have to be cold or hungry anymore darling “He said looking down at her as he ran his hand gently down the side of her Sophia’s face. “I am going to give you a wonderful gift. You will be my queen throughout all eternity. Don’t be frightened.” 
And she wasn’t. It was like Sophia had been waiting for this moment all her life. He bent his head down to her mouth. His breath smelled of winter. He kissed Sophia softly at first but then with a growing passion, and her body melted into his. When Sophia looked into his eyes, she could see the hunger. She knew he wanted more than just her body, and Sophia wanted him to have it. He pushed Sophia’s red hair back from her neck, and she saw his canine teeth then. He bit down hard , Sophia’s warm blood running down her neck .It only hurt for a moment, and then she felt pleasure as she had never known before. Her head turned sideways as he drank her blood, the alleyway suddenly came into sharp focus, and she could see clearly very in the dark. Sophia could ever see the rats in the deepest part of the shadows forging through the garbage. She felt herself dying, her heartbeat racing then it slowed down, till it beat no more. Sophia was the undead now, one of the damned for all eternity. 

As soon as Sophia’s prince touched her hand she also remembered that his name was Guillaume Barraud. He too had been born into a well to do family in another part of France. Guillaume had been disowned by his family for falling in love with and marrying a prostitute. They had moved to Paris, where his young wife had died after catching the flu. He was too proud to beg for his family forgiveness, instead at twenty five he became an alcoholic and went a bit mad, before being turned by a older vampire, who wanted Guillaume as his companion. But Guillaume was always searching for a girl that looked like his Julianna, and Sophia had thought that is why he chose her at first. But in time she became his true queen, and Sophia had been his queen for almost three hundred years now.

One minute they were standing in the snow and the next they were in a room of their home in France. 
“What happened to me? I feel as if I’ve been asleep for years, and there are images of people and places in my mind that I’ve never been too” Sophia said to Guillaume.
“Sit down darling” he said leading her over to their couch. You have been asleep for weeks now. Take my hand and things will be clear to you.”
Sophia held Guillaume’s hand, and once again memories came back to her.  
 There were times when Sophia longed to be human again. She missed the wonderful taste of food and wine. Oh how to be able to stand outside in the early summer mornings and feel the sunshine on her face, or the warmth of a fireplace after being outside in the winter night.  Sophia would never be able to hold her own newborn in her arms for the first time, and to watch that child grow up into an adult, and maybe give to Sophia grandchildren. She just existed, as the undead, wandering from century to century with only blood sustaining her. Sophia’s body would stay young and beautiful forever, but her spirit was old and tired. It felt sometimes like Sophia was living in a glass cage, the world moving around her, but she would never be able to escape her prison. And so Sophia willed herself into a deep sleep and created the life of “Tara” for herself. She remained this way for weeks, never waking. Guillaume worried that Sophia would never wake up, and so he began to enter her dreams, to try and bring Sophia back to him. Her will was very strong and Sophia was able to resist Guillaume, but eventually she could not any longer. 
“I felt I would lose you forever my love” Guillaume said as he stroked her hair.
Sophia looked up at him “But Jean? She doesn’t feel like someone my mind invented.”
“She is not real, as none of it is.” Guillaume replied. “Your mind was fighting the fantasy life you created. I am so sorry my darling.” 
Sophia did feel emotion then. It was sadness. She knew she could never be human, no matter how many times she dreamt it. As Guillaume held her close to his cold body, A lone tear ran down the cheek of Sophia’s face.