Authors: L.M. Miller
copyright © 2014 L.M. Miller
my family and friends for their love and support
s early light slithered under the
thick door. Heavy breathing coated the air. In the dim lighting, candles cast
writhing shadows on the wall, the fluid movements of the being inside barely
detectable. Vicious rows of pearly, jagged teeth shone briefly as the wavering
light flickered precariously. Red-rimmed eyes narrowed in anticipation as
gossamer threads of saliva dripped from an open mouth. The creature knew the
time was near. It knew the time was near, and it waited hungrily. Soon the time
would be had. Opening and closing blood-encrusted nails, it waited…
waking up was the hardest part of the day. Sometimes it was the easiest.
Persephone Black, (everyone called her Seph though), sat bolt upright in bed,
breathing heavily. It took her a moment to orient herself. She was in her bed.
She was in her own bed. Everything was okay. Her ivory hands grazed over the
worn comforter, idly tracing a star. What was that dream she had been having?
It had been so strange… Usually, in her dreams, she was chased by the monsters,
but this time… it felt like she was the monster. She definitely did not prefer
being the monster. She
d rather be chased any day.
The day it was
suddenly dawned on her, and she let out a great sigh. It was her sixteenth
birthday, and the sun was slicing through the blinds much too sharply already.
She squinted against its brightness and rolled over. Her head hurt. Her teeth
hurt. Her stomach grumbled. Perfect way to start off her b-day. Her comforter
fell to the floor with a
She immediately stiffened. Had
someone heard that? Five, four, three, two...
Tap, tap, tap.
was only slight, but it didn
t sound so slight to her. It was like
someone had just slammed a sledgehammer against the door.
” she muttered
croakily, and the door creaked open, admitting the tiniest slice of light to
pierce into her brain. “Close the door,” she ushered Nathaniel
s tall frame inside.
Her foster sibling, Nate, half a year her junior, entered the bedroom, shutting
the door quietly behind him. He had an obvious wrapped gift behind his back.
Well, maybe it wasn't supposed to be so obvious. They were in near total
darkness. How could she see it so well? Her room was practically pitch-black
with the shades drawn. Maybe it was all the carrots she ate…. Whatever, she
didn't care for vegetables. She would kill for a nice, juicy steak right now,
all red and dripping...
Nate walked over, knocking into the side of her bed gracelessly before sitting
down on the bed beside Seph. They just sat there a moment in companionable
silence and, more importantly, darkness. He cleared his throat a little
nervously, and she listened to how his heartbeat sped up when he looked at her.
That was odd...
“Last night was pretty crazy,” he commented awkwardly, and she scrunched her
face, trying to remember the night before.
Oh yea… she and Nate had crashed some fellow good student
s birthday party in pre-celebration
of her own. It had been a fun night, full of food and drink that wasn't exactly
great for you. They had been out so late. Her eyes fell to her bedside clock
and widened in shock.
” She gasped, and he nodded,
grinning a little crookedly.
“Ya, you were sleeping like the dead, so I finally just came in. They
re all waiting for you downstairs,”
he added, referencing their many foster siblings as well as her two
half-siblings and their foster parents.
you know not to wake the dead?" She added playfully, and he laughed
lightly, blushing a little under his tan skin.
He cleared his throat again
anxiously. What was going on with him? He ran a hand over his jet-black hair
nervously. He looked every bit the Cherokee that he was. Pure-blooded, born and
raised by his grandmother in the Cherokee ways, after his parents died in a car
crash when he was three. Then she had died of a heart attack three years ago,
and here he was now. He had found his way to Bill and Janette
s just as Seph had. Coincidence? She
t believe in coincidences. Everything
happened for a reason, no matter how good or bad it was. You took the pearls
with the swine.
“I-I got you s-something, Seph,” he
stammered, and when had that stammer come back?
His vein was ready to leap out of
his throat. They were best friends. They were usually perfectly cool with each
other. She shrugged it off as he passed her the gift she had already seen.
Delicately unwrapping the bright red ribbon, she opened the box to reveal a
delicate silver necklace. A crescent moon dangled from the thin, liquid-light
strand. She gasped in shock. It looked expensive. It was more than Nate should
have spent on her. It was perfect though. It even matched the
crescent moon tattoo (that she should never have gotten) on the back of her
hand to perfection.
“Nate…” she murmured, clearly touched.
He smiled his heartbreaking smile
before gently taking it from her hands and moving to fasten it around her
throat. His hands brushed her neck, and she tensed. It felt different… Why? She
felt very aware of Nate all of a sudden. What had changed since yesterday,
except for her age, of course? Delicately, he fastened the jewelry around her
neck, his fingers just barely grazing her skin. He paused, his face inches away
from her own. She heard his heartbeat triple, saw the vein in his neck leap,
and she knew she had to be reacting the same way. Her heart felt like it could
hop right out of her chest. Quickly, he retreated, even more nervous now.
“The boys also got you something,” he said, slowly extricating a small black
She thought of her several other foster siblings, all boys, putting together
their hard-earned money just for her. It was incredibly sweet. She should
really go downstairs, but her head hurt. She was so hungry...
t,” she murmured, slowly extricating
a matching silver bracelet from the box, crescent moons and little sun charms
dangling from it.
It matched everything so well. She passed the bracelet over to Nate, holding
out her right wrist. The boys really shouldn
t have. It must have cost them a fortune! She also had
to wonder where exactly they were getting all this money from. Besides Nate,
the oldest of them was Lawrence, who was fourteen, and then Dean, who was only
twelve. The pair watched the bracelet sparkle in the faint light seeping from
beneath the door. His hand lightly caressed the inside of her wrist, his heartbeat
filling the room.
Seph looked up at him intently. His
eyes were dark pools, exotic liquid pools of onyx. Darkness was very appealing
to her right now. As though cued, they both slowly leaned forward, and their
lips just brushed. Pulling apart for a moment, they searched each other
s eyes for uncertainty. Then they
were kissing again. His lips were so smooth and so soft, and why had it taken
them so long to do this? After a few minutes, she began kissing his neck as he
petted her hair softly. What was that beneath her lips? It kept jumping
repeatedly, and for some reason, she had a strong desire to bite it. An
incredibly good feeling welled inside her. Something wonderful was waiting for
her in whatever was jumping beneath her mouth.
She bit it lightly (playfully, she hoped) and immediately, whatever it was,
broke and began pouring liquid sweetness down her throat. It nearly tasted
alcoholic, like chocolate wine. She moved her body closer to Nate, turning her
head to better drink whatever it was that was coming from his neck. It just
tasted so wonderful, and Nate didn
t seem to mind. He wasn
t fighting it one bit.
“Seph…” he murmured and pulled her tighter against him.
She drank from him. She drank more and more. It was amazing, whatever it was,
and it was energizing. She had felt fatigue in her very bones this morning.
Now, she felt like she could stay up all day and night. Her senses were
tingling. Her heart was beating. Last night, the cake tasted like powdered brick.
The ice cream tasted like thick glue. This… this tasted like liquid gold. Nate
was slowly becoming limper and limper in her arms, but he held her close, so
she just kept drinking.
Familiar voices were talking to
her behind the door. She didn
t care. She could not stop.
the door opened slowly, and she
glanced up. Liquid warmth dribbled down from her mouth.
Her twin half-siblings were in the
doorway. They were arguing over something in their hands, thank the Lord. She
moved faster than she thought possible, hauling Nate behind her bed with her.
Had they seen?! She poked her head up from behind the bed, searching for them.
s going on?” Pearl asked, treading carefully into their
room and setting something on their shared vanity.
“W-What?” She stammered, sounding
for all the world like Nate as she hastily wiped at her mouth, her chin, her
Nate… Oh, no… Nate! She stared at
him, appalled by what she had done. Was he alive? Somehow, she knew he was, and
that he was fine. How did she know that? Had she just… had she just drank his
blood? What the hell was wrong with her? That was shit vampires did, but there
was no way she was a vampire, no way! That was what Monster Academy was for,
for rooting out vampires before they did shit like this and taking them away to
the boarding school. She was cussing a lot more in her head as she freaked out,
she vaguely noted. The twins slowly walked towards her bed. Shit. Shit! SHIT!
s wrong, Seph?” Pearce called, sounding a little
annoyed with all his eleven-year-old importance. “It
s 12:30. Everyone
waiting downstairs for you, you know,” he stated, crossing his arms haughtily.
s her birthday. She can do whatever she wants,” Pearl
piped up, drawing nearer.
t come any closer!” She shouted, more than a little
What was she going to do? What was
she going to do?? Nate wasn
t stirring, and he had a gash in his
neck that wasn
t stopping. She was covered in his
blood. She looked up just as Pearl rounded the bed, and Pearce flipped on a
light. Frozen, they locked eyes.
“Hey,” she was in her closet now,
looking at them.
“What? I thought you were behind the
bed,” Pearl said, glancing back and forth rapidly.
ve been just a trick of a light. I was in here the
whole time,” she stated, ruffling her shining red hair absentmindedly.
“Speaking of the light, it
s really bright in here, isn
t it?” She suggested, diverting the
“Are you wearing lipstick?” Pearce
asked in displease, and she hurriedly rubbed at her mouth.
“Maybe…” she muttered, and he shook
m eating some cobbler before it gets cold. Hurry up and
get dressed, you know,” he added before vacating their room.
ve sworn you were behind the bed,”
Pearl said softly, and Seph just pegged her with a beaming smile.
m not,” she started riffling through
good morning, sleepyhead!” Pearl
s bright and perky voice shattered
s blessed silence as she greeted her
as she always did when she woke up.
Pearl had the very uncanny ability of always knowing what to say to annoy her
big sister, unintentionally surely. It was a very annoying ability. She sighed
again, sending a piercing glare over her shoulder. Her pretty little sister,
five years younger than her at the age of eleven, bounced around the room like
a captured butterfly, flitting this way and that. She nervously glanced at her
bed, where Nate had hurriedly been stuffed under. There was probably still some
blood on the floor too.
“So… what are you gonna wear today, Miss Persephone Black? Now that you
re at the great, old age of sixteen,
I say you wear something different for a change, like the color yellow,” she
stated, throwing open their shared closet door exuberantly as she bypassed her