Authors: Charmain Marie Mitchell
Vampire - In the Beginning
©Copyright Charmain Marie Mitchell 2013
Vampire - In The Beginning, is the property of the author Charmain Marie Mitchell, and cannot be sold, copied, distributed, shared, in whole or part without the knowledge and permission of the above author.
Publisher: CMMpublishing, Petersfield, UK, GU32 3NF
First published in the UK, US, & worldwide 2013
About the author
Having run a successful garden centre then a floristry business, Charmain Mitchell never really had time to concentrate on her passion for writing.
Throughout her life, Charmain has wanted to become an author, but family and business commitments stood in the way and her writing consisted of a few short stories on the rare occasion that she had time to write them.
In late 2012, a freak accident finally allowed time for Charmain to indulge in her passion for writing. She says of this; "
Then a few weeks ago I fell over whilst trying to catch chickens and ended up breaking my ankle! Quite a comical way to break your ankle - I know; especially when I have kept horses for the majority of my life and have never yet broken any bones where they are concerned!
Suddenly I had six clear weeks in which I wouldn't be able to move very well. Help! How was I going to cope with doing zilch for that long? Then I thought, maybe I should do a bit of writing, and that is what I did, and the strange thing is, is that I haven't been able to stop since!
She says of her writing;
"I love writing, it is truly my passion! I love the way that through words I can make people think and feel differently, feel passion, sometimes pain, and get totally lost in my words. I love the fact that a brilliant writer will live forever, and will in some way influence generations to come. Is it not marvelous that we can still look back to writing from over two thousand years ago and believe in it and still learn from it?
The human imagination is a wondrous thing, it creates and then brings to life stories on a screen, and sometimes we believe in these stories so much that they become our passion. I'm talking about for instance: The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Star Wars etc... I think we actually forget sometimes that all of these stories were started with a simple idea on a piece of paper, and they grew to be something that some of us forget started from the author's imagination."
Charmain Mitchell lives in a semi-rural village on the south coast of the UK with her four children, husband, two cats, and countless chickens.
In the Beginning
Life can be great, it is vital, but life can also be depressing, and more often than not miserable and pointless. I think this is true of a human life, perhaps a life that usually spans about seventy or so years. Imagine then, if you will, living for nearly five hundred years, imagine the misery, sadness, and above all else, the sheer tenacity it takes to survive that long. If you can imagine the hell I'm describing; you can - just maybe - imagine my life – the life of a vampire.
Oh I'm sure it's not the life of every vampire, but it is how I see my life, and now suddenly everything I thought was worth living for is gone. My light in a very dark world is dim, the vital part of my life is no more, and the reason for my existence no longer exists.
Perhaps I should start by way of an introduction; my name is Gwendolyn Leigh, Gwen for short. I was born in a tiny village called Hayes on the outskirts of London, England. Over time Hayes become part of the larger suburbs of London, but when I made my entrance into the world, it was but a small community and more than three days walking distance from the capital.
I was born in the early hours, one day in early June in the year 1522, I don’t know the exact date of my birth, my parents didn’t know, and so it is obvious that I would never know of it. My mother would tell me, "You were born on the morn of the sunniest day of the year, Gwen." I loved it when she said those words to me, and I never questioned her further, and so I now state my birthday to be the first day in June.
I became a vampire at the age of nineteen. At nineteen in Tudor England, I had already lived at least half of my life span, and could in no way be termed as a child. Strange when you consider that at aged nineteen, I’m now in today’s world considered little more than a child.
I, of course, still look nineteen; and will do until the day I die; I guess it is one of the major benefits of being a vampire. I will never grow old and my breasts will always be upright.
There are many legends and fables surrounding vampires, the strangest of them being that we cannot tolerate the touch or taste of garlic - we can. Nor do we shrivel at the sight or touch of holy water or crucifixes. We can walk during the daylight hours and there is only one way in which a vampire can die. And that is by way of piercing through the heart with a wooden stake.
Wood is everlasting and a tree can grow for very many centuries, but if you strike a tree in its heart, in the tree's case its root, you will kill it. The root is where the tree is most vulnerable, and so it is with us. In the making of a stake, an everlasting tree is felled and so the magic of eternal growth is broken. It is the breaking of this everlasting growth, that does, when thrust into a vampire, breaks the magic of everlasting youth.
A vampire cannot be killed by ripping out the heart – it simply re-forms, and beheading has the same effect. We cannot be starved of blood, we will simply dry up and shrivel, but as soon as one drop of blood touches our lips, we will be restored.
Contrary to common belief, vampires are not always evil ungodly creatures. Our characters remain the same as when we were human, only heightened, so therefore if a vampire is a killer, it is almost certain that they were a killer when they were human. We are strong and fast, and we do crave blood, blood is our food, but most vampires will not drain a human dry, most will simply take what they need and move on.
We can choose to die, if we wish, by our own hand. You see, only the strongest of vampires can survive for centuries, it is not easy to watch all that you love, die and wither. It requires enormous strength of will to be able to start again repeatedly, and in truth, it becomes tiring.
It is so very tiring to watch humans make the same mistakes century after century - because with great age comes great wisdom. However, this wisdom cannot be channeled, it is dangerous and foolish for us to intervene in human life, and so our existence becomes an everlasting exhausting circle. How do we kill ourselves? Well it is quite simple really, we thrust a stake deep into our heart, and we die, but in reality we have already started to die and will have given up on life long before we commit to the final deed of thrusting the stake.
It's at this crossroads in my life, that you find me. I don’t know if I should carry on living or if I should end my life. I have lived through so much, loved and lost, watched history in the making, and I am tired. For the last few years, I have lived alone, not seeking or wanting love or friendship. I am afraid of the pain, and I have arrived at a point in my life when I am no longer sure that I can face the hell that is living, and somehow death seems to offer the peace I crave.
I made choices many years ago, choices that I have since lived to regret. Choices that meant love was snatched from me; not once, but many times, but someone from the past remained deep within my heart, a being that I loved above all others. That being was the key to my existence, and the reason why I have lived this torturous life for so long. Now my reason for living is gone, and with this demise my desire and fight to live has diminished.
I have, therefore, decided to write down all of my memories, and in doing so I will be able to reach the decision of continuing to live, or ultimately deciding to die. I must make the choice, and to enable me to do this, I believe that I must look to the past, and hopefully this will lead me to establish if my life is worth living in the future.
Therefore, the long story, detailing my life, begins…
I remember it so clearly. It was a warm, sweet-scented evening, and like so many times before; I followed the path that wound its way through the bluebell copse and ran from my parents’ cottage down to Harper’s Farm. Gently, I pulled back the springy twigs of the hazel trees that grew alongside the pathway, I remember skipping out of the way of the rebounding branches, giggling, and then I started to hum a once familiar tune.
I am making my way to see Tom Harper. Tom was the love of my life then; we grew up together, played together, and worked together. I surrendered my body to Tom on a warm night in April the year before, and together we lost our virginity, with gentle gasps of startled embarrassment and blazing excitement.
That first night of lust paved the way for night after night of sweet and gentle passion. Our passion resulted in pregnancy, and as I make my way along the bluebell-lined path, I carry inside of my belly the child of our love. For many girls, the knowledge of pregnancy outside of marriage was a disastrous turn of events. For me it meant that I was to marry the man I loved, and my life was then, in many ways perfect.
As I push my way through the trees on that delicious spring evening, I can remember imagining Tom running to greet me, his young handsome face smiling, and his eyes shining with love for me and our unborn child. I remember blushing as I indulged in a dream of us collapsing together under the huge oak in the back meadow. My fantasy saw our lust and love sated in the warm breeze of the evening, and I giggle at my daring thoughts.
I was, for this reason, somewhat disappointed when I reached the kissing gate, for I realised that Tom was not, as he usually was, waiting for me. A sigh escaped my lips, and I was irritated. And so I resign myself to crossing the meadow alone, and making my way up the winding lane that leads to the farmhouse.
The final leg of my walk up to the farmhouse was a very steep, uphill trek, and darkness falls by the time I finally reach the house. Therefore, I am not only surprised, but also a bit irked to find the house silent and dark. There isn’t any sign of the usual glow of the roaring fire shining out into the yard beckoning me from the windows.
I had never known the house to be so quiet, and the thought struck me that maybe some sort of deadly disease had cursed the family. Life was precarious then, and a mere cold could mean death. Therefore, my fears were justified and my sudden concern for Tom’s safety pushed my body quickly towards the dark and lifeless house. Thus, I was close to hysteria and on reaching the house, I slammed so hard against the front door, that I stupidly fell inside in a tangled bundle of panic. It was only after I scrabbled to my feet, and steadied myself, that I noticed the horrific scene in front of me. I then screamed in such terror that my throat clenched in painful protest at my horror-stricken outburst.
Tom’s mother, Martha, was sprawled across the large kitchen table, her clothes ripped, and in places torn completely away; her ageing breasts fell from her laced bodice, flaccid and drooping to the sides of her lifeless body. Her legs were at a strange angle, and her skirts bunched up into a ball at her waist. I could see, even from where I was standing, that she was dead. Martha’s eyes were open, staring into nothingness and devoid of life, but it was her throat that caught my attention, for it gaped open, and blood and torn flesh hung in ragged strands – it was a sickening sight.
Although I think I probably knew deep down that an animal wasn’t able to inflict the injuries I could see on Martha’s body - I still visually searched the dark recesses of the room for the beast. I can remember being afraid to move, afraid to breathe, and although I forced myself to look around the room - I was petrified of what I might see. My eyes roamed the dark shadows of the kitchen, but I could see nothing, and I remember thinking that I should turn and flee, but I also knew that I could not. Not until I had at least tried to find Tom.
The farmhouse consisted of just two rooms, the lower half, and the upper half. Tom’s sisters, Jane and Margaret, slept alongside their mother and father in the upper half. Tom and his brother Joe slept outside in the barn. I decided to check the rooms upstairs first, because I knew that once I walked away from the farmhouse. There was no way I was going to be able to face Martha’s corpse and return.