Monday, October 26, 2009

Dying to be Dead - Part 1 - Chapter 3 - Bloody Kisses

There was a dark vehicle stopped across the road from her. She started walking forward and the dark vehicle began moving down the road parallel to her in the same direction on this unfamiliar street. She had never spent a lot of time on the north side of town here alone and she didn’t know her way around at all. Lana did her best to act unaware of the menacing presence that seemed to be stalking her. She thought to herself, “No way, I’ve seen way too many scary movies where chicks freaked out when someone was following them and the bad guys would only attack them quicker.” She wanted to keep her head and find a safe place to duck into until she lost this whacko. First she needed to find out where the hell she had run off to. She was obviously nowhere near the hospital anymore. There were several warehouses on this block but not an open business or residence anywhere in sight as far as she could tell.. She quickened her pace somewhat out of nervousness. As she was passing one of the darkened and closed warehouses she noticed that she could cut through its back parking lot and reach a residential area that was adjacent to the parking lot She could actually see the welcoming glow of a light on at a nearby house. That’s when she decided she better make a run for it. She took off running through the parking lot as fast as her small legs would take her and when she made it nearly half way across the menacing car that had been stalking her now charged into the lot and cut her off. It was blocking her way.

The only way out she could see was to jump a fence next to the car. She hastily tried climbing over the God forsaken six foot fence. When she was close to the top she felt rock hard hands grab her by the waist and pull her down. It was some huge beastly man pulling her directly off the fence. She tried to struggle against him but to no avail. He carried her to the back passenger door of the dark menacing car. He quickly opened it and shoved her inside. Once inside, she tried the door and it was locked. Then she strained her eyes to see in the darkness, and suddenly she could make out a silhouette of someone else in the backseat near her, directly across from her in fact. It was a hooded figure in dark clothing. She couldn’t make out any specific features. A light came on above and the hooded figure revealed him. Lana was shocked once again to find who it was. It was the man from the website again; the one who had stood before her and offered her is hand only a short time ago. “But why would he go to such measures to confront me once again? Oh God, he’s a creepo!” She thought to herself. He gave her that angelic smile again and then he spoke, “The deed is done. You needn’t worry about the one you call “Mark” anymore. Vivienne’s death has been avenged.” He said this with such grace and an accent she couldn’t figure out where it derived from. Lana couldn’t believe what she was hearing or seeing. “Could this all be real?” “It is real Lana, as real as you and I are here together now. Forgive me, I am quite rude. I haven’t introduced myself properly. I am Gabriel Van Sant. I’m sure that you’re aware that we have crossed paths over the computer. What a lovely contraption, the computer. I don’t think you are aware that I’ve heard you calling out for some time now. I’ve been watching you for several months. I had to know if you were really ready to leave your mortal coil. With the sudden loss of your mother, I expected that you probably would be. No decisions need be made tonight. We have until the sun rises. Please, tell me what it is that you most desire to do on this night?” Lana was in utter disbelief. Kidnapped by a vampire and his henchman?? She had wanted something like this to happen for so long, but now it just seemed so unreal that she doubted her very sanity. Suddenly it hit her that he had read her mind. “How was that possible?” She wondered to herself.

While contemplating all of this, Lana hadn’t realized that the car had been driven all the way out of the city and was approaching a large hacienda style mansion that seemed to appear out of nowhere hidden amongst the country brush and mesquite trees. She was amazed by the grandeur of this place. It seemed to be centuries old yet maintained immaculately. Lana could feel Gabriel’s ever watchful eye on her constantly. She was sure that he was still reading her thoughts. She felt powerless to block him from her mind. As the car pulled into the tiled circular drive, there were a number of servants there scrambling to be of service to their obvious master of the house. The beastly, kidnapping driver opened the car door and offered his hand to Lana to help her get out. She refused him and got out by her own accord. Gabriel followed suit and was immediately standing before her. Lana was impressed by his height. “He has to be at least 6’ ft 3’in.” She thought to herself. “Actually 6’ft 4’in.” he pronounced quite boastfully. Gabriel gave her a sly smile that melted her inside. ‘He was way too beautiful to be real”, she thought. The way the moonlight flickered in his piercing green eyes was almost too much to behold. He gracefully gestured for her to in the direction of the front entrance. For some reason, although she had been taken here against her will, she was starting to feel at ease with Gabriel and she was ready to experience whatever awaited her on this night. Once inside, they entered a very great and extremely grand hall. It led into a front parlor that was more like the size of a ballroom. To the right and left were the most beautiful staircases leading to places she could only imagine. There were the most beautifully carved wooden angels made right into the banisters on the staircases. When she looked up she could see that the stairways wound upward for at least three floors. The parlor had very uniquely patterned throw rugs spread all over the place. They covered nearly every open area on the floor in the room, and that didn’t seem to be an easy feat to accomplish. This room was gigantic. The rugs looked like the expensive, Persian kind with intricate patterns that had to have been completely hand woven. Lana had only just entered the house and the scenery already seemed to be overwhelming to her.

She could only imagine what was in store for her. Gabriel ushered Lana to what looked to be a very comfortable and inviting sofa. When she sat down, her body sank far into the cushions. “It’s even more comfortable than it looks”, she thought. “I have spent much time there myself and I agree that it is very comfortable”, Gabriel said. Lana was once again astonished by Gabriel’s mind reading abilities. “This would be very hard to get used to”, she was thinking. Gabriel had sat down opposite of her in a very ornate looking chair that almost looked like a throne. It was impressive looking with crushed red velvet cushions and what looked to be solid gold arms and legs in a very French looking pattern. He sat there so severely gazing into her eyes. Then he opened his arms wide, obviously expecting Lana to jump right into them. Before she even realized, Lana was within his grasp without ever knowing she had moved from her spot on the couch.. Lana blocked her fear by trying to rationalize Gabriel’s actions.”It had to be a mind trick of some kind”, she was telling herself. Then, as if something warm was being poured over her body, she felt herself go limp, as if his very touch had paralyzed her. Although, for some reason she didn’t feel at all frightened by this loss of control. To the contrary, it was the most magnificently safe sensation she had ever felt. She imagined it to be comparable to how an infant feels when it’s cradled in its mother’s arms. Gabriel stroked her hair lovingly and began to whisper softly into her ear, “Sleep my dear, sleep and forget all of the pain. Life is pain, and soon, I shall take you away from all of that.” His words were powerful but lulled her just enough so that soon she felt herself being overcome by the heaviness of sleep.

Dreams have a funny way of reminding us to try and keep a firm grasp on reality. Lana dreamt the most vividly lucid dreams there in the arms of Gabriel. She felt the most magnificent ambiance all around her in these dreams. She was liberated and commanding. For once, she felt in control of things. Shamefully enough, these dreams were horrific in nature, just as they had been once before. One such dream finally startled her awake. She sat up shaken and sweating, all alone in a dark room that looked somewhat familiar to her. “How could this be possible”, she thought as she jumped up out of the little rickety twin bed and flicked on the light switch by the side table where she instinctively knew it would be. She was correct. She was at her Grandmother O’Brien’s house in the spare bedroom. She knew it well because she stayed in this room for two whole summers when she was eleven and twelve and Vivienne was having a couple of her many rough patches in life. It seemed impossible for Lana to be here now. Her Grandmother O’Brien had disowned Vivienne nearly four years ago and Lana hadn’t seen her grandmother since then. “What an awkward feeling to be here now. Where in the world was Gabriel and how did I get here in this room?” She wondered. Her thoughts were interrupted by a knock at the door, and then it began to open. Surely enough, it was her Grandmother O’Brien.

Two Months Later…

The world just went on. It didn’t matter that Vivienne had been brutally murdered and that Mark was missing and charged with the crime. The world just went on like every other random and pointless day. It was getting hard to tell dreams from reality these days. Lana knew she had experienced the grief of losing Vivienne at the hospital that fateful night, but how to explain the strange happenings thereafter? This was a question she just couldn’t let go of. Gabriel, sweet Gabriel, he couldn’t have been real. Grandmother O’Brien told her she found Lana lying on her front porch swing the morning she had woken up in that familiar spare bedroom at her grandmother’s house that very first time. Lana had been in a state of disorientation and complete exhaustion. Everyone around her took it as a mental breakdown due to extreme grief. Her grandmother was very determined to get Lana to move on with her life like everything was normal and the horrific loss of her mother never happened. Before she knew it, everything was swept under the rug just like her grandmother always liked problems to be, and Lana was placed back in school again. She was now living permanently with her Grandmother O’ Brien. It was beyond dreary to Lana to have to go back to King high school just as before. Lana had pretty much turned her Grandmother’s spare bedroom into what looked much like her old bedroom where she had once lived with her mom and Mark. It didn’t take her much time at all to adorn her walls with androgynous rock stars and scenes of the macabre. She could almost pretend, even to herself, that she never met Gabriel or felt his passionate embrace. She made believe that she would be hearing Vivienne pounding on her door in the morning to wake her for school, but deep inside she knew better. “Vivienne was dead and Gabriel couldn’t be real”, she had to keep telling herself. Ms. Kemp would be sure to enforce that fact of reality. Lana knew it had been a mistake to open up to that old bag even a little bit. Ms. Kemp was completely closed minded. Lana tried to just set all the desperate feelings aside. She tried to accept the theory that Gabriel and his awe inspiring hacienda in obscurity was only an elaborate trick her mind was playing on her out of grief and despair to deal with the murder of her mother Vivienne. The only problem is her dreams wouldn’t allow her to let it go. She dreamt of Gabriel every single night. Through her window he would arrive and carry her away to some far off destination. On occasion, she’d dream that he took her to a beautiful uninhabited island after midnight. The moonlight was glistening over the water that was breaking at the sandy shore. They were lying right upon the sand. She laid on his arm as he stroked her hair so gently. She felt so overwhelmingly safe and loved with Gabriel. She woke up in her bedroom like so many other times before. Her heart ached for these moments to be real. She’d lie in bed and cry, contemplating the fear that she may very well be going crazy after all. She’d overhear her grandmother on the phone with the school counselor Ms. Kemp and the things they would say about her. They were concerned that she may be losing her grip on reality.

It was getting harder and harder for Lana to stay awake in the daytime. It felt so strange to her. She knew she had to have been getting to sleep at night. “How else could I be having these elaborate dreams of Gabriel and me?” She wondered. Ms. Kemp from school called Lana’s grandmother again. She was complaining about Lana falling asleep in class on repeated occasions and how she had been looking strung out and pale as of late. Lana was so fed up with Ms. Kemp. ‘You’d think she’d lay off someone whose mother was just murdered”, Lana contemplated. Now her grandmother was really on her case, but not in the same way Vivienne had been. This was somewhat worse. Grandmother O’Brien opted to take Lana to a series of specialists. There was a pediatrician who said she needed to see a neurologist. Then there was a physician specialized in sleep disorders, and finally when they came to the conclusion that they could not find any physical ailment within her besides maybe being a little anemic, her grandmother made the last ditch effort of calling in a shrink. This shrink came at the recommendation of the first pediatrician. The pediatrician had noticed a lot of cuts and old scars on Lana’s skin and suspected self-injury. Lana was sent to see Dr. Aurora Bradley, the psychiatrist, twice a week now. Lana was set in her determination not to open up to Dr. Bradley. She knew that would be an all around bad idea. “All this doctor would do is decide that I’m as crazy as they all suspect and that’s the last thing I need right now”, Lana thought.

Surprisingly enough though, Lana did open up to Dr. Bradley over time. There was something about Dr. Bradley that put Lana at ease so much so that before she knew it, she had already spent two hours telling Dr. Bradley all about her vivid dreams of dear sweet Gabriel and his dastardly vampiric ways. She told her of the nights he would come and carry her right out of bed in her night clothes and cover her with kisses that left her limp as she felt the wind beneath their feet. He’d hold her tight and before long they would reach some far off destination. It was rarely the same place. One night it would be some uninhabited island in the South Pacific, and other nights, the rooftop of a Paris opera house, or the summit of a Chilean mountain peak. Gabriel held the world in his hands to Lana, and he offered it up to her every night. Their nightly rendezvous were really beginning to take a toll on Lana’s appearance and overall general health. Her energy was drained even before she got out of bed in the morning. She hardly ever made it through the day without falling asleep or passing out repeatedly. Many began to comment on the pale color of her skin and the bone thin figure she was acquiring. Food didn’t taste right to her anymore. She always felt thirsty, ravenously thirsty, but she could never quite quench all of that feeling. Her body was changing and she knew it. She saw the marks that Gabriel was leaving, but they were not fang marks. He was making little slices in her skin with his teeth without making it look like bites and kissing away the blood. Lana was sure that everyone would play it off as her hurting herself. “Maybe that’s what Gabriel wants them to think, for now”, she said to herself. She did her best to hide the daily amount of new wounds, but it was getting harder everyday. They were small, but there were so many.


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