Five: a Time for Goodbyes
It was almost as if Billy did not want to give me the time to reason – it was do or die. Refuse the third infusion, I would have felt the real power of that throwing axe, as I am sure many have done in the past. Accept the gift and live a life eternal, bound by night and the lore of the vampire.
To put the record straight, I would have done his bidding, had he given me the option. In fact, if he had not visited upon me this evening to complete the task, my transformation, I would have gone out onto the streets in search of the powerful buffoon, who still made my flesh crawl, but the yearning for what he could give to me – the horrific glimpses and tastes he had already imparted – became the overriding factor of my waking conscious thoughts, as few as they were.
We were alone in the room, now. I had neither seen nor heard his followers lead my brother away. The only logical route was past the bed in which I lay, over which Billy stooped, and down the attic stairwell. A breeze from the open skylight provided the answer, as if bade to do so: they had gone over the rooftops to do whatever it was they had been instructed by my fearful master. Que sera, sera.
I felt my mortal self die. There was no glory, no pomp. It was a matter of fact occurrence. I was alive. And then dead. No wracking pain, no uplifting light to head towards. It was as if my life had been controlled by a dimmer switch and it had been turned to off; from full power to extinct in a matter of moments.
I arose to look out of the window. The night had turned Indian ink black already. Perhaps the ceremony had lasted longer than I recalled. Although Billy was ushering me to take flight through the window, the call of others of my kind had me on the move already. His mind spoke to mine: “Not so fast.”
I had things to learn. There were creatures waiting to teach me about my new life. And one in particular who was awaiting my arrival above all others. For the first time I had the sense that not only had I been doing Billy’s bidding, but he was the ambassador for yet a greater master. He picked up his axe; for a fleeting second, I thought to even the score. Had I guessed some truth and offended him?
But no. Upon the tip of his axe a sliver of my flesh glistened in the moonlight. That second cut, although deeper than the first, had not been in exactly the same place. A thin shaving of my flesh slipped into his gaping jaw. He swallowed, gulped and then sucked his lips repeatedly in the clichéd “fava beans and a nice chianti” the-the-the-the-the-the-the-the salvo.
I should have felt revolt, but was instead filled with the pride of a victor. With stunning athleticism for one of such a huge frame, he joined me on the sill of the rooftop window, smelling the air. It was clean and rife with expectancy and anticipation. Something in his mannerisms told me this was his farewell, to me at least. All of those years of intangible connection for the sake of an acquaintance that lasted little more than twenty-four hours.
But now was not the time to be doting on a lifetime that ‘could have been’, lived out in Regretsville. The eternal night that stretched ahead promised so, so much. Billy would take me to where I would become a pupil, for a while. And something else. Something he had managed to disguise during my transformation and our sensory exchange.
Or perhaps he had been offered some special power to lock the true purpose of his courtship of my soul away from me for the one whose bidding he really carried out. I would not have to wait long to find out. Without so much as a bye-your-leave, we leapt into the night and into the hurricane that would be my new, eternal life.