I gently pulled my fingers through his fringe, combing out the knots. He had been filled with promise, that grubby little boy so keen to save his mother. Death seemed to haunt him, this poor boy. As I began to clean the blood from his face, the nurses looking at me strangely, my resolve hardened. No, I could not let him slip away. I blinked away the need to cry, concentrating on my task. His breathing was very faint, his expression drawn with pain. “Archie, I am here. Do not worry, everything will be alright. Your family will be here soon to see you and you and I are going to take a journey together. Be brave, dear, it will not be long now.” Hearing is the last sense to leave someone when they are unconscious. It may have been my imagination, but I thought I saw the creases in his brow smooth a little.
I continued to tidy him up until his parents arrived, his mother’s face stricken with worry. I explained as well as I could to them, not really aware of what I was saying. I left them with him, mentally preparing myself for what was to come. His father tenderly folded the sheet over his head before they left, his mother near hysterical with tears. The father thanked me for my help. Some useless words of condolence passed both ways.
I pronounced him dead then.
They walk slowly on the platform companions, heavy footstepts walking hand in hand people flowing in the same direction like salmon flowing down stream but invietbly the time comes when they will fight the current and move up stream to the end of their time together, amongst the flowing masses of faces that go in all directions, happy, cheerful full of purpose full of pride about the world they now find themselves in.
It is 21st of May 1945 and it is a new world, for some it is a World without War
Both Michael and Poppy look around at the faces loved ones being welcomed home, departing and leaving the world behind, the platform is vibrant and full of life trying to find a quiet place to say meaningful and sad goodbyes is hard for them both.
A patch of shadow at the far end of the platform by one of the columns gives them that chance, which they gladly take some refuge in Poppy wearing her hair up in a certain way looking colorful and full of vibrant life which the power of the blood gives to all Kindred when they choose it, She walks Michael down the platform as he holds her hand looking around at the faces distracted and clumsily saying sorry to baggage and people he accidentally knocks over.
They both gather in this quiet place the sound of the steam train pulling in loudly signaling it’s arrival to the masses screeching to a stop and making the station come to life, people waiting welcoming their loved ones, others rushing to get off being replaced by bodies wanting to get on quickly, two figures in the shadow stand quietly for a short time looking at another speaking but without using words holding each other’s hands.
He speaks quietly and softly touching the side of her face gently, her leaning into the hand touching it softly, he speaks sad words of having to move on, words that weigh heavy on his heart, and her hearing words of resignation that she is so proud, but the words take a painful turn as he speaks of the darkness and how he is leaving her to it, the darkness that seems more than just that, a real thing that can consume you if you let it.
God, faith, love, between two people are spoken by Michael, how his life was saved by an angel how he knows that she can go on without him and he will try to be someone who can move on with his love his duty for the tasks of moving onto the horror that was left by the war, the true horror of god’s children, her brave face and stance is difficult but she wishes him luck and expresses pride, to be safe for this human that she has taken into her life.
Promise, promise you will return are her words to him, he says he will, but then his heart sinks further like a crushing weight he says the words that tear his heart in two, he speaks the words of true love that he felt when he first laid eye’s upon her, when the two souls began to talk one dying the other dead, the love that allowed him to put his faith in an angel that gave him her healing touch and dragged him back into the world by her side.
I love you are his words and this is why he must go before he does more harm than good to her, he sees the burden she carries and knows this love cannot be returned, and he knows that through this love which may have been helped by the addictive vitae it does not rule his love, to protect her soul he cannot let his true love be the thing that destroys them, the work he would do in the war torn lands in eastern Europe are noble and true but Michael will protect her at all costs like the two had been doing since they left the hospital all that time ago.
Sadness and loss fill their corner of the platform, they know it is soon time, that they must part, the yelling of minutes left by the platform staff, both know that it is soon time, they hold each other as much as they can both knowing that they have protected each other in their own way that he has been good to her and she has found peace with God and the company of a mortal man.
The steam billows from the great exhaust of the train seconds remain between the dead, the living, but both know that they are devoted to each, he would die for her, he would do anything and that is why he leaves, but before he does he asks one last thing from her the last step which she is always afraid off, the final stage of the bounding of blood to him, she always took care never to make him ghoul long enough for it to take, only to heal him in the most grave of situations, and now he was asking that he would want her blood, her protection, her love to always keep him with her however long it must be, and that she finally give him immortality.
With this came greatest of risks but she knew it was better than the alternative, she looks around from the darkness of their corner and watches for people looking at them but they are enthralled in their own lives, she bites down slowly on her wrist, the blood flows slowly moves down her arm but stops like it wishes to return to her veins, She looks at him with compassion and sorrow in her eye’s knowing that this is the final step for him that her blood will make him complete, make him a bound.
He slowly touches her wrist where the small open wound lays, feelings and emotions, strong with both of them, he looks into her eyes, reassuring that everything will be okay that this is what is right, drawing her blood into him for the 3rd time, she concentrates her will, giving him her strength, holding him tightly as he strains to keep hold of her wrist, his head thrusting back quickly away from her wrist letting the blood fill him, full of strength.
He closes his eyes and then looks at her, both hear the final whistles for all aboard, a resignation, they both hold each other with everything they have, knowing the end is coming, she says the words promise me, again, he responds in kind saying he promises, but both know that this could be the end.
Through fear of never letting go he quickly moves to one side and grabs his bag stopping looking at her one last time tearing his hand away from hers, both fighting back the inevitable tears, he moves quickly onto the platform onto the moving train, breathing heavily his heart racing from the sorrow, his heart feels as though it’s been ripped from his body, he turns with dread to look out the window, seeing her moving down the platform waving with such sadness in her eyes, he lifts his arm weighted with sadness and waves slowly in shock.
68 years they would see each other again their lives, their requiems being forever changed.
August 6th 1944
It’s been a week now, I am still struggling to understand, it doesn’t seem real, she doesn’t seem real I’m writing to you lord give me the strength to do what is right, the first nights I questioned myself what I have done remembering the dream that was the blood it’s taste I can still feel it now it was sweet, right, it healed my wounds.
She is like a dream great strength but also great vulnerability locked in that body, does that strength come from faith a higher power it’s hard to understand my feelings and what they mean but I’m trying too.
I’m told my old life is over and all there is now is the darkness, monsters, demons, can everything that man has talked about in myth and legend be true, I’m afraid not for my life, I’m more afraid of what this all means for the future, afraid that I won’t be enough for a saint like Mary.
August 8th 1944
The taste is almost gone I can feel it and the world is becoming more and more darker, we go on walks under the moonlight, she says I was dreaming about it while I was hospitalized, dreaming about the two of us walking under the moonlight, it does feel good and right but why me?.
Why me I’ve been asking this to myself when she appears from a her asleep from wherever she sleeps sheltered from the sun she says I should be leaving going back across the channel and back with my friends my unit, making a difference, but I can’t and I don’t know why, why me?
She is as pale as moonlight she has a kind smile, I think about her sometimes, she has a good heart if that still beats?, can the soul endure no matter what, even beyond death, is this gods will or are these creatures cursed by his grace, his compassion, why me?
August 12th 1944
I’ve been sneaking off from the farm during the day, I’ve been trying to find out about the war effort and what’s happening, I stole a radio today it wasn’t my finest moment but I needed to know what’s happening beyond this place a prison it feels like at times.
The trust she is placing in me opening my eye’s to a different world, I know now that they are flaws weaknesses, a stake entering her heart, fire burning quickly, the sun striking them down, what do I do with this, I don’t want to do any of those things to her she has a soul I know she does, she’s not a saint but someone who yearns for redemption, love and forgiveness.
I think I understand slowly we need each other, taking comfort from one another, she is lonely, there is a sadness, a pain which the words of god help fill, I believe she just wants someone to make her less alone in the dark, now we are alone outcasts, she is getting weaker I’m worried for her
August 16th 1944
She only just woke up this time, she seems so weak, but she puts on a brave face sometimes, I’ve seen the streets of the local villages at night women a children stay in their homes, older men too old to fight watch over them, with some patrolling the streets vigilantly.
It’s so quiet at night and there are so few people around we are all hungry, but Mary is weary, I don’t know what I should do, she insists she is fine.
I cut myself in the kitchen recently the bloody rag I took it outside to the well and without thinking went back to get some fresh dressing, she was quickly sniffing yearning for the bloody rag staring at it longing for something, blood is what she needs and I have come to far now to abandon her, if she can use some of the life from my veins like she gave to me then I have to help
She shoved me away and roared!, it was like there was something inside her screaming a beast that wants something, there’s a struggle within her, and the beast within needs what it needs and I will do what I can Mary, I will try.
I spoke the words that seem to sooth something inside of her, and gave her my arm like when she gave me hers in that one final act before my end, she has a soul she was in tears when biting into my harm, but god forgives all his children, I still believe this now more than ever, I have to be there for her, she can have my blood, I place my hand on her hair and feel her body come more to life as we switch places and I’ve lost a lot of blood.
She takes my hand and helps me up looking slightly upset but, I did the right thing I know I did, I can recover with rest and food.
September 2nd 1944
There is a life forming here now I make sure every day that my chores are done, I prepare only a small fire, we sit by the bay window and stare at the moon it’s seems to be a good activity for us, keeping each other safe and me warm, she seems to be a little more comfortable with me giving her a very small amount of blood.
I’ve come to see it as a sacred thing which someone very important in my life needs and so every so often she takes a small amount of blood enough to live, other times I see her return from a hunt where she has used that strength of hers no doubt to get the blood she needs, she still seems always weak but she is surviving
September 16th 1944
She woke up from the cellar in pain today she is in a lot of pain, I can see it, fighting the need to hurt me, we are tested in our lives, but this is something altogether different, she gets the blood she needs from me but there have been times where a hunt has not gone well.
And she has expended so much energy that she comes back worse off, I need to do something more, she tries to be honest and respectful, always a brave face but I am starting to know her too well, she is humble, a tortured soul, I don’t know if she sees me the way I see her, but I will carry on through my faith and love of god and ensure that her will remains strong, if that’s what she needs of me then I can do that for her.
She takes such comfort in me when we sleep I have never known such loneliness, but by living this life she is all I have now, I’m starting to need her like she needs me, I don’t want to tell her though, she needs to focus on surviving she needs to know that god loves her and through me she can know that without doubt or fear.
Can they feel everything as we do I don’t know I just don’t know, we were curled up under an oak tree, the weather is warm the nights are mild, she asks me, is heaven waiting for a monster like me, I gently touched her face and looked into her eye’s, forgiveness is his most cherished gift for us his children, his love for you will never change.
This is my life now and I need to keep my faith in god true even when I know the church abandons me, I will stay strong for us.
I have not prayed to you for a long time my Lord, please show her your love, your grace, her soul is pure and innocent……..please .
October 4th 1944
We have to move on from the farm, ive been wandering around the local village listening to locals they are getting supscious they think there are germans in their village, they think the invasion has begun, all it takes is a lot of paranoia and a series of unexplained events and that seems to be enough.
We are packing and moving from the this place, I will miss you Robert, you were my only friend my brother one day we will see each other again, I have one hell of story I have to tell you, I think you would like her I hope she will be okay.
Somewhere along the coast with a larger population might be the best idea, southend is a good size seaside town, I went there when I was a child had ice cream.
Essex seems to be largely devoid of kindred so staying in these area’s seem to be the wisest way, im not sure I want to meet other kindred she calls them, makes me nervous just thinking about it.
I watch her sleep sometimes she is so lifeless, like death itself, I’ve been doing charcoal drawing something I done when I was little, the ones of her asleep are looking quite good, though they could be better.
When she awakes it will be time to leave, give me the continued strength to watch over your child my lord and Robert my only brother who taught me in the face of true horror there is still beauty, I think your right Robert I have found beauty in the face of true horror and she saved me.
I’ll miss you my friend always
October 6th 1944
They let me keep my journal, im in a holding cell at an airfield, they caught me in one of the abandoned houses they call me a deserter and what can I say to that, I am a deserter am I not?, im fit, im healthy I can help make a difference like I did when I first drafted myself and now im stuck.
Mary is in the garden safe under the dirt where I help bury her sometimes, she hasn’t the blood to use some of her power that she has so as always we bury her in the earth where she can be safe, I can still see the look on her face when she is covered in dirt, she has those awful memories which plague her so, and now im trapped unable to find my way back to her it’s been a few days now I hope she’s okay please don’t come for me please lord watch over her.
I ask about the war and how it goes, but the MP’s would soon as spit at me than look at me, there are deserters around unfortunately who are just too afraid to go to war, some of us just don’t have it in them to put the lives of others before our own, i know that is not me, I hope that is not me.
I thought it was a dream at first she was standing over me in the cell the door wide open two MP’s unconciouss and she, she looks the strongest I have seen her in a long time, she has fed a lot it seems, but I can see in her eye’s that she hasn’t killed, I asked her to free the other prisoners there if not to give us a chance at not being spotted as we escape, I forget how strong she is, she just pulled the cell door open without so much as a strain.
We were running as quick as possible, I heard two or three gunshots one struck mary, then I knew as I felt my the adrenaline rise in my body, the shock of being shot is all too familiar for me, we managed to get away just we both know what a wound to the stomach does to someone I didn’t have long and the pain was slow and agonizing.
She talked about what having her blood again would do to me making the bond stronger making me a ghoul again to encourage me to heal my body, I was bleeding massively the stomach wounds always give the slowest method of passing, ive seen it before all I can do is ease their suffering as I was taught as a medic.
She has a worried look on her face but putting my hand on her face covered in blood I touch the side of her face covered in blood and tell her it will be okay, she knows it too, and my feelings for Mary can’t be any stronger than they could be the blood won’t matter I know how I feel, I know the lords love will protect me, I know my love for her will protect me.
She bites down on her wrist and puts the blood too my mouth again, the memory of how it tasted all that time ago is still with me, it is like morphine so very addictive, but she concentrates as the bloody wrist is pressed up against my mouth, it happens again I just embrace her and we hold each other in old cellar she found earlier i was concentrating as my insides twist and turn. the healing power of what she is makes me whole again.
She is my miracle she is my Mary, I have no words.
October 14th 1944
We made it slowly to southend on sea, finally, the road was long and we had to cut across farmland a lot of wet feet involved, Im learning slowly to be more aware, more vigiliant, look for the telltale signs that could mean danger for us both, there is a small church that along the way that we can take refuge in till we make our final push to southend, I have a cousin there who had a small place in shoeburry, I haven’t told mary though.
I remember the talk she gave me about revisiting my old life and why I shouldn’t do it, but this was a cousin who abandoned his home like so many did to go live somewhere else, I think Iceland was his destination, something about getting as far away from the war as possible.
Well will keep on going, her state is unchanged I think, there is a somber mood when she is in the darkness it seems to feel her, the requiem that she talks about, how she has lived her life, she just wants to be with someone, I hope I can be that someone for her, she has too see that even in the darkest night there is still and bright light.
I see it in her when she is being comforted when she listens to the words of the lord, when she is protecting those that she cares for like me, I tried to learn how to fight but im just not very good, I can run though, I could always run.
November 7th 1944
It’s been a time now we are settled in this house, we have walked the seafront at night so Mary can get a lay of the area and know what is what and where everything is, it’s another walk under a lovely moon, we hold hands it’s nice, she takes comfort in me and I her and I couldn’t ask for anything more.
I don’t know what kind of a life we can live together but I know, that she deserves one, there has to be a future for her, for me, for us, im not always certain, my faith in god usually guides me in times of strife, as does she, but my faith is not what it used to be and Mary like her body ever unchanging, her soul seems to be stuck too, and I can’t change it or get through to it.
Is being a kindred truly a curse from god, stopping these monsters from feeling the warmth of the sun, inflicting them with banes that man call there greatest friends, in wood and fire, I don’t know I would have doubt for them all but not Mary.
I see how she wants redemption, the evil that is in her heart and soul, and I would speak the same of any of gods children, we all have a capacity for evil in our hearts, and good.
She has a soul, she remembers what it was like to be human.
She can find the light again in her soul I know it.
November 26th 1944
It’s taken a little time and with all the supply efforts going on in southend with the military that seem to populate the coastline, always ships, always reminders of a war that is just beyond our doorstep, always a reminder of a war where my friends give their lives for our freedoms, I miss my friends my unit.
Mary does a lot better we have been here for a time now living in small house overlooking the seafront, I have been spending my days looking around the seafront and the town itself, things are so quiet to how I remember, it’s seems like a ghost town at times, and at night it is the same as everyother town, every street lamp, every motorcar headlamp a becon to the germans to bomb us, and so darkness remains.
Im getting used to it I guess, we all simply walk past each other in the town centre at night, moving with a purpose like normal people needing to get somewhere, leaving our homes only when we have too, I say we but me I don’t seem to care as much.
I’ve decided I still need to take care, there is still a home guard in this town young men training to become the future soldiers of our armies and the older generation too old to fight, they are suspicious of everyone and everything and during wartime who can blame them.
Ive decided to use a walking cane and strap my knee up with a fake brace to show a war wound hence I can say I have served and that I have been removed from active service which should keep me from being questioned too much, now just to show a act out an appropriate limp.
Mary has been feeding without incident, she is being very careful, but it seems that with their being so many more numbers here in this seafront town, she is having a better time of it, but it’s a war so we remain more careful.
December 14th 1944
It’s taken some time but ive managed to get a position as a local doctor, making house calls to peoples homes which is the way of it in todays Britain, with curfews and restricted movements at night during wartime, I have a lovely assistant nurse to help this poor crippled doctor around, well on nightcalls anyway and it gives her a good reason to slip away when she needs too, I have to say being refered too as doctor blake is strange, but the sense of satisfaction you get from helping others is still there.
Ive had to travel at night alone on some occasions and tonight has been something I was dreading, my first encounter with another kindred, I don’t know if he spotted me watching, but I could see the way he was looking at others, and briefly at me, I could just tell he had the look of a monster in his eye’s seeing through people like they were a way to fulfill his hunger.
Ive been told by mary to stay away from them don’t trust them, I am worried for others around here though, I don’t know if I should tell her or not, he looks dangerous, what if she got hurt or worse, the things that kindred can do.
December 22nd 1944
He knows i keep seeing him in the corner of my eye he playing with me know it, mary always said stop and look over your shoulder so I do whenever I get the chance. I told her that I saw him a week ago, she was mildy irritated that I didn’t mention him right away but im starting to get the feeling that she is just as protective of me as I of her.
We went out together this time but didn’t see him, this means he has noticed me she says that kindred can sense other kindred sometimes, they are all predators and meeting another is a bad thing sometimes, and when a kindred see’s someone they like they hunt sometimes for days, weeks, or they could covert you for your skills, who you are.
We walk up by Victoria train station and she see’s him he’s standing the rail station roof not a care in the world staring at her, and I can see she’s staring at him intently, I could feel her trembling her invisible muscles locked in that innocent body sqeezing my hand very tightly like she could snap it off quite easily, and im quit aware that she could and I just hope that she wont, in these times im slightly more opptormistic than previous times.
Then he was gone and that was that, it was confusing to me, she has a weary look about him but she says she knew he was weaker, younger, and that she had the overriding instinct to want to tear his head off, I very happy she didn’t there are still some people around, she says it may not be over but we should both be more weary take different routes home and not separate if we can help it.
I never had the urge to argue on these matter, I still don’t.
December 25th 1944
So our Christmas evening was eventful on one of my calls I’d been checking in on an actual Mary not my mary but a very pregnant women who in around 3 months before the start of the war was with child, a happy and joyus occasion to be sure, when I first made a house call she was good, I put her due about this time and sadly I was right, Mary Meridith Jones gave birth on Christmas day 7:28pm to a 7 pound 42 once baby girl, I have to say it was a tense experience for me but the Nurse with me was confident and reassuring I could tell she’s done this before but I did wonder had she done this as Kindred.
This was the start of new life a reminder that this is something she can never have or go through stuck in her own body, it never really occurred to me till that moment when I was telling Mary to breath and push that it may affect my one I care about a great deal.
She was simply in a Nursing state of mind, always ready holding Mary’s hand and willing her to bring this child into the world it was scarey, but god was with us all that night, once it happened we all smiled, and I handed the child over to this amazing nurse who took the newborn and gave it the kindest look ive seen her give for a long time, it was perfect.
Mary named the child after our lovely nurse that night and I think it was the perfect Christmas, my first delivery and I have a suspicious feeling it won’t be my last.
December 31st 1944
It’s so very quiet strangely so news of the war keeps everyone on guard a lot of the time but they live there lives, ive been asked many times by mothers with sons fighting in a far away land, have you heard anything from the war office, some get their answer another fallen son and families heart broken, I do my best to consol them with God and tell them to pray with me.
Mary awakes and I say to her it’s new years eve she doesn’t seem too concerned and I must say neither do I, some years they would have firework displays to celebrate, the pubs would be bursting at the rafters but not during this time, there aren’t the people to celelbrate and launching signals to the germans that were here is not the best idea either so it’s a quiet time.
We go for our walks along the seafront, during the cold nights, as always she looks perfect the way the moonlight reflects off her pale white skin, we don’t talk much during our walks, and when we do it is god and our faith, ive tried to talk about the future, the past, the war but they are talks we both don’t feel we can talk about without memories and anxieties rising to the surface so we walk by the moonlit sky.
You hear children running around screaming, the warm glow coming from boarded up houses disguising the light from there homes, people celebrate as best they can, I think we both heard that it was 1945 now, a so I stopped her kissed her gentley on the head gave her a hug and said happy new year.
I don’t know what to expect from a new year, will this war ever end, will my grief and pain have it’s day, will there be a future for mary.
I will Pray for her every day for the rest of my days to make sure she is safe, this statement of the rest of my days has new meaning now and I know it, but if immortality allows me to serve god forever be there for my mary for all my days then so be it, I will devote myself to that love, to that life.
January 10th 1945
How do I recount this im still shaking quit a bit, the pen wont stay still in my hand, this entry is more a recount of what happened on January 10th so here goes.
I woke up just darkness nothing but darkness, could feel the sensation of a twinned cloth wrapped around my head it was hard to breath with the rope in my mouth, I had been drugged I was groggy, hazey I think is the word, i was bound, my arms behind me on a hard wooden floor not a lot of space , how long I was there for, couldn’t hear much.
Then the smell, I knew what it was a body, I managed to struggle I was tied up in a cupboard of some sort, I felt around and could feel someone else in the cupboard with me, I knew that it was them that the smell came from, what could I do legs bound arms bound, I could see a small crack off daylight so I knew it was day still.
I was out on a call when it happen, walking up the my town square I turned a corner into a housing estate and then nothing I woke up here, Mary was feeding in the area but it’s day time now so if she was looking for me she must be at home asleep.
I could hear the thumping of foot steps it was still day time, so I kicked out at the door hoping it might be someone who could help, my true fear was that this is a haven of that kin that we encountered at the station and that he’s using me as some kind of bate, putting Mary in danger, I cant let that happen I wont.
I kicked out for a time and eventually provoked the stranger who opened the door quickly grabing me by the rope between my bound legs and started to drag me, I kicked out wildly, the stranger stopped dragging me, then I could feel the blade against my neck, I looked closely and could see it was an old man grimey looking strong for his years, perhaps he was a ghoul like mary talked about servants of the kin, helpers, slaves.
He didn’t say a word he just pressed the blade up against my neck waiting for me to get the point, but I can’t let night come I had to escape, he was dragging me to a trap door in the floor, I could tell the light was fading night was coming and me being someones meal was more than likley, I got on my knee’s quietly and took my opportunity as he opened the trapdoor I propelled myself at him knocking him into the hole, I kicked the door back down onto the floor and layed on the door.
Wasn’t the greatest plan but I could feel he dropped the knife so I took the opportunity and cut away on my rope, I didn’t have long it was almost night and by now mary should be awake, and I could feel that awful feeling again like a felt before, it was him again, it’s his beast I think it feels wrong, made me feel off aware, afraid.
I was in a kitchen and I knew that I had no time so I simply ran for it, the crippled doctor act would have to wait, I ran to the seafront and kept running, but before I knew it he was standing in front of me, in the blink of eye, he was so fast.
In the same blink of an eye he threw against the sea wall and was angry at me, next I knew he was sinking his teeth in me, I thought to myself at least he won’t get to her, but as everything was fading, there she was ripping him of me and throwing him clear into the street with that unimaginable strength of hers.
I slid down to the floor weak through blood loss and watched mary move unanaturally fast growling at him and he growled and roared at her, he pulled a knife out and slashed at her she was hurt but she moved very quickly behind him and grabbed him nearly lifting him off the ground sinking her teeth into him, not feeding but biting taking a large lump out of his neck, he stabs her in the leg thrashing around but he cant escape I could see the fear in his eye’s, Mary’s mouth and front covered in blood as she sank her teeth in once more and ripped open another vien in the neck casuing him to become a lifeless corpse again.
She dropped him quickly and then ran over to a lifeless me, hugging me looking worried, but I was okay, I think I would need a blood transfusion, I ask Mary to get rid of the bite marks with the kiss, and say go before we are discovered by the home guard we were not exactly quiet.
She gives me a bloody smile, I try to stand up but light headed as I expected to be slide back down the wall and wait for help to come, she picked the kindred up quickly heading off with the torpored body as I’ve come to know the term, when the body is damaged enough it become lifeless in kindred medical terms I believe.
I know she wont kill him, but burying him in the earth somewhere in this seaside town for the rest of his days well I don’t know if this is a good thing or bad, there are kindred courts and such, but not in essex apparently, it is a nomads land, or did she say no mans land I should ask her again.
The Homeguard were easy enough to convince I said I was mugged on the way to a house call, I was taken to the red cross aid station nearby, and had a transfusion.
Seeing Mary at home later that night well she was a mess still she looked at me expecting me to upset by her appearance covered in blood, I wasn’t, we held each other for a time, it was our way of knowing that we protect each other.
An angel on my shoulders a bloody Mary
January 25 1945
Im reflecting on the kindred condition of late, Marys condition, well I call it a condition it is a state of being, actually it’s more about mary as she is the only kin I know and to be honest care about, her instinct is to protect herself always she or they are vulnerable during the day, so much so that they will use their blood and those mind powers they have to have people on their side looking after them.
I never really appreciated how much trust she puts in me, especially when she hasn’t the energy or blood to sink into the ground as she does, she simply lays their lifeless by my side, I run my hand down the side head sometimes to see if she responds, to see if she wakes but the times that she does is when instinct takes over the look of a someone who will do whatever it takes to live no matter what, I saw that look a lot on the people I treated in the war.
She talk about the monster inside and I wonder if there is something more there, something more than just guilt and shame, maybe a guilt that she almost enjoyed it, if I were to ask her while looking into her eye’s would she say yes I enjoy the blood I drink. It wouldn’t matter she’s not a monster, not in the way she thinks, If I can help her see this then I will try my best, but im just a man.
I still wonder why she chose me, I know she fears the darkness, the path has been lonely for her and she feels alone, I have always known the god is always with me, but that feeling is not what it was, I have questions like I did with the faith I loved growing up and the feelings of wanting to heal others in whatever way I could.
I feel she has reached out to me she needs help and a light to walk beside her in the darkness, I will try for her.
Febuary 7th 1945
Were hearing some news finally from the war, I am all too aware that it’s going on the airfields in the south are in constant use the shipping lanes are always busy, the war has not eased up one bit, I have tried to avoid it till now, every comment from a patient I treat asking if I was in the war, how did I receive my injury, there empty lies, lies that I cann’t stomach sometimes, it makes me sikc sometimes lying about something so important, so serious.
I don’t know how many of my friends are still out there fighting, for me for Mary, Robert my have passed but I I wanted to be back out there even when my life was leaving me, ever since it’s been a matter of doing what’s right for the ones I care about, the ones I love.
I hear from some colleges at the Redcross aid station that the Russians are pushing the nazi’s on the eastern front, that they took Warsaw back, and that they found something that really defies all words, there were rumors that hitler was taking certain classes of people, Jewish people, taking them away from everything they knew, the Russians liberated an area called Auschwitz a death camp in Poland, we don’t know much but from words relyed across a war across Europe itself, it sounds like hell itself for those that are held there.
I will pray for all that have suffered and fought in this war, ive tried to in the past but now i must pray, I will not let a world that I do not fully understand stand in my way of my faith, if places, Hells like these death camps exist then I will pray with all my heart and work to help others even more.
I talk to Mary about the Deathcamps for the first time, her heart sinks I could see it, mine is not too far behind, we take comfort in each, we pray for the rest of the night that the war will be over and that all those that have died and suffered for our freedom have not died for nothing.
Feburary 14th 1945
It’s Valentine Day, and I feel embarrassed, I think long back to my childhood I had valentines before, my first kiss by the family oak tree my god Lucy I remember her my first love we grew up together, played together went through school together, she listened to my endless love of god and the holy text, I remember when she fell from that oak tree and broke her arm that was the first arm I set, of course it was a tree branch and a skipping rope, but Lucy was my first love when we were old enough and started to know more about love she we thought we would be together forever.
It’s only now that I write the words forever, that I realize how true that could actually be as I look at her my Mary while writing these words and she smiles at me, Valentines day was a good day, a day of innocence a day of togetherness, I think I should do something for her and I have an idea.
I managed to get ahold of a Radio, one not stolen this time, and sometimes it plays Jazz and I can see mary smiling, moving we seem to have the same taste in music and that gives me an idea.
What she doesn’t know is that I have rented the local hall for a few hours just the two of us a gramophone record player and a lot of jazz, and some orchestral numbers which I fondly remember.
We danced without a care in the world, like nothing else mattered, my heart is still pounding as I write these words, she was happy I’d never seen her smile so much as she did it was simply a good day and I hope that memories like these are ones we can keep ahold off forever.
I pick her some flowers too during the day and presented them too her before the gift of a dance, sort of like riding a bike this Valentines thing, you never forget.
Febuary 25th 1945
The Allies are pushing more more, im find myself visiting the aid station in Leigh hearing from military personnel more and more I need to know if there will be an end to this war, they say that there hasn’t been a Rocket attack for over a month now, reports say that the allies have pushed back the germans to the point where they cant launch those horrible V rockets, they caused so much devastation in the capital so much pain and misery.
I’ve wanted to go to the city to lend a hand sometimes but Mary stops me, says that there is a court of kindred there they would know if we went, and I must say I am afraid of other kin more now than ever but we can’t be ruled by fear can we, Mary sometimes insists that it’s the right thing to do and I have to concede to her because she’s protecting us from another world out there.
I think she knows how hard it is to hear about the war sometimes, for me it’s hard because im not out their healing helping, being with my brothers, for her it’s difficult memories of another time, she’s already been through a war how could anyone ask her to go through another, what she has seen, has witnessed what she has done?.
London survives, communities will get through this far and wide, there has to be an end to the war, the allies bomb another German city, so much death, and beyond that I think about the other world out there the kin, and their courts and society, what are they doing with this war, are they using it as an opportunity to be monsters like Mary says they can be, are they using the gift of blood to heal like I have seen it can, so many lives could be saved with this very special blood like in Mary’s body.
If I was ever to be like them if it was even possibly I would want to use what I am to help others, to bring them faith, and to give them hope, vitae as it’s called could do this?, I will talk with Mary about this more in the future.
March 9th 1945
Another missle attack, I could never say that we are all used to it but we have been living with the threat of war coming to these shores for along time now, these missles from the heavens, there are times when we thought London itself was going to disappear from the earth through such devastation and loss of life, then there is a calm, but then another missle strikes reminding everyone that the enemy is a lot closer than we think.
The news though from the allied advance is that they are pushing across the Rhine, moving closer and closer, I don’t know too many details though and it is details I need, we always hear the hum the distant roar of bombers flying overhead from airfields providing more support for the allied charge, I sit on the sea wall some times and watch the planes fly by, looking at the sea and watching the navy movements, I pray for them.
Mary and I have settled into a Routine, we work together with treatment for the patients we see too making house calls, we are more known now, Mary has a way with some people, stern a firm hand that a nurse always has, I can honestly say that she has put that firm hand towards me sometimes like not telling her that I saw a kin awhile back, she has a temper and something more sometimes.
I ask her about her world, and is it just because of the kindreds food source is the reason they all remain hidden, that they hide in among society living off normal people sometimes finding special people, people that are different unique, and taking them like the one that took her and did the things he did to her, eventually making her like him.
The only comparisons I can make to this obsessive behavior is someone like Jack the Ripper, someone who targeted his prey specifically, was he maybe a kindred, god this will drive me mad if I start to question history itself, they are special creatures, I do believe they are gods creatures, but how long have they been in the shadows, shaping the world, using their long lives and strength their power to do whatever they will, could the nazi’s themselves have these kindred at their heart, it’s hard to believe.
Sometimes I worry too much during the day, sometimes it feels like god has left me and all there is, is her, I hold her during the day sometimes as she sleeps the sleep that she must sleep, and sometimes we go for walks and hold hands, not saying much just knowing that we are not alone if we are together.
In a world of such uncertainty and tribulation there is her which gives me hope, she is a miracle, please god watch over my Mary.
March 30th 1945
Things are happening so fast now reports are coming in constantly from the allied push, the area is quiet now too quiet if there is such a thing, the cursed skies some call them where death reigns down on our country’s capital and so have hit in essex, the same hell from the sky has been reported hitting cities like Antwerp any targets that would suit the enemies war plans.
I came across my first body for along time today, I was escorted by the local homeguard mostly kids learning their trade cockey and ready to take on hitler themselves, they escort me to a house which looks eireely familiar to me well the area is a quiet area of this quiet seaside town.
I walked through the front gate and could already smell the smell of fresh vomit, one of the soldiers was in quiet a bit of difficulty it’s seems, his first dead body, from the smell coming from the front door it seems so, I enter the front door, neighbours are being very nosey as I would expect I enter the hallway and follow the smell, looking into the living room, I lock eyes with a soldier shouting for help, it’s only after I see his eye’s do I start to hear his voice, as it sharply comes into focus.
He was screaming for me to help stop the bleeding an old man blood everywhere, I moved quickly after that and began to give instructions, my training took over he had already lost so much blood, we applied pressure I didn’t even look at him I applied dressing and looked at the blood on the floor from his wound and I knew the soldier and old man knew too we looked into each other eye’s and were resigned as the man choked to death on his own blood.
I looked at a kitched in front of me from the living room and I knew where I was this is where he held me, I looked at a closet where the smell came from, a rotting corpse, I asked the man what happened to the dying man choking in my arms and he said the they were knocking on the door following up on neighbours complaints about squatters in the house and a horrible smell that wouldn’t go away, one of the soldiers say the man take the knife to his own throat there and then and cut himself, they burst down the door and tried to help.
This man was a Ghoul as Mary described, he was bound, he was loyal to his master, and since he never returned, did he end his own life rather than be taken by the enemy.
The man was lifeless, dead in my arms, I didn’t hate him, I said and pray for him knowing that he might not have ever had the choice, that he was a mindless slave like Mary said some kin can do, they can take your mind your heart and change it and you will know nothing but to serve blindly and loyally.
I see to the bodies being moved i think back to the memories I felt when I was here, loyalty to the your master was it the blood binding him, the powers of the master twisting him, or was it his choice that because he was old and being given the immortal blood that he would never be ill, never be hurt, if he served he would live forever.
Life is precious, is fleeting, will the day come when I become a ghoul and live forever can i?
April 18th 1945
Reports are more and more clearer now the end could be coming soon my friends at the Cross aid station say that hospitals all over southern England are filled to capacity, casualties and wounded are still in the hundreds and thousands, in Europe it is the same there are red cross personnel in places and they say that there care of POWs is being stretched to it’s limits.
I heard the news the news that I hoped I would never hear again from the front, they have liberated more camps on the 11th the Americans in Buchenwald followed by just days ago the British liberating Bergen-Belsen how many more of these concentration camps can there be, I want to scream these words to the heavens and do something, be out there helping these people making some kind of difference however small.
I write these words and then I think about how selfish I am, if I were to leave I would be leaving her to be alone, over the many months ive come to know her more than I have ever known anyone, she has a strength about her she has a yearning to do good, there is a light in her that she does not see, I see that light when we dance, when we pray, when we walk under the moonlight she is special, I don’t feel so lost when she is with me, because I know now more than ever that ever since I fell in that Field in the front lines, ready to accept death to pass on I got to know an angel someone who he pulled me from the grasp of death and said it will be okay.
It was not my time she pulled me back from death, took me into a new life showed me things that I struggled to believe, she said she was a monster, red flowing hair and pale white skin, kind eye’s and a gentle touch, yes there is a darkness within her like there is within all of us Mary but she will see, she has seen I know it, that all of gods creatures are capable of greatness darkness but we are all capable of great good.
I have to stay by her side to help her see this, i worry that my heart is becoming too much of a burden she has such pain within, there are times when I know she could love again, I saw that love when she held that newborn child for the first time, she can love, I know in my heart that I should not love, I never thought I would it has been a long time since ive known true love I felt it the moment I saw her when she brought that night lattern from my eyes while she did her rounds that first night we met in the hospital, love and duty are burdens I must accept in these coming days, I will pray for the answer my lord.
continue to watch over Mary……………. please
May 8th VE Day
They have surrendered it’s…….. it’s over, people are in the streets celebrating, it’s been going on all day me I haven’t moved from Mary’s bed side, I’ve never been so apprehensive about telling her something like this before, it’s doesn’t seem real I don’t know what to think how to feel.
Since I heard the news I don’t think Ive moved from her side Im not excited, I feel numb, wrong I am relieved of course I am, but this guilt some kind of a burden, I don’t know, I just don’t know, the light is fading, fireworks can be heard, houses are pulling their shutters down from their windows, curtains left open, the fear and nervous night air that came before it has lifted so quickly.
Back upstairs now to Mary she stirs slowly like she does, she can feel im beside her as she speaks my name and as usual I respond to make sure she doesn’t become aggressive in the moments of uncertainty between waking and kindred sleep, she looks at me and wonders what all the noise is, so I lay down beside her and say the words that are in my heart, it’s over Mary.
The War is over, people are in the streets celebrating, they are happy, my heart sinks and Mary wipes a few tears from my eye’s which I didn’t even know I had, are they tears of relief, of joy, I don’t know, she holds me and I hold her, I don’t think we moved for awhile, not until she said we should go and walk along the seafront and see for ourselves.
The walk was strange I could see peoples faces, the pubs where filling again, people were happy, cars speeding around with their headlamps on in cheer, honking their horns, we walk hand in hand, I put on a smile which is genuine for a time but it’s more for others so I can keep their spirits high, through all the fear and strife that have been on these streets, through all the loved ones that have received visits from the military giving the news of another lost son.
I think more than anything me and Mary Pray, we head toward the local church not far from us, and find others there praying, some are relieved, mothers crying for their sons yet to return, we do the same and pray, I kiss Mary on the back of the hand and begin to pray for a new tomorrow.
May 20th 1945
I’ve been going to Church more so everyday helping the local reverend in his community duties, trying to find a way to fit in and it isn’t working, the numbness is still there I feel as though I’ve sinned and I have can’t do nothing to shake this feeling, I spend time wait for Mary to wake, we eat dinner together sometimes, well she sits and watches me eat and I do my best to enjoy the food.
I ask her what blood tastes like, it’s amusing conversation, she usually avoids the subject, not my finest subject to talk about while eating food, food that she hasn’t eaten herself in over thirty forty years. The mood on the streets is still good, the town has comes alive again, much as I suspect many other towns have all over, there is a unity and goodwill.
I talked with Dave at the hospital he says he is shipping out with some doctors, there going to the concentration camps over in germany and Poland and beginning to provide slow aid to the suffering of so many.
Ever fibre of my being is telling me not to leave her, I know she would be proud of what I wanted to do, to leave for I know she would, but if I leave her then I leave her to the darkness, to her requiem filled with lonliness and sorrow, trying to overcome her past, seeking redemption and god, if I leave her I will be heartbroken I know this, but the void in me is something that she gave me also, I should have died if not for her my angel, she saved my soul and wants me with her to help save hers too.
My soul needs absolution to be saved I need to go, to make a difference, to find god again, I can’t help her like this, im not what I should be, above all though and my heart sinks when I feel this, Im in love with her I have been since I first met her, and I can’t do that to her she is in too much pain, love will destroy her, destroy us, I have to go.
I told her of my plans, my desired to go into the wartorn areas and start helping, her heart sinks, but she puts on a brave smile, I know her too well now, she knows that she will be alone again, but she also knows me just as well and could see me after VE day, im lost and I need to be found again.
tomorrow we set off for Kingscross then I travel north to Hertfordshire, this will be the hardest thing in my life to do, I hope I can do it, I love her, and im been devoted to her everyday of my life with her, she will fight I know she will, she will fight the darkness.
I will Pray for her every day of my life for as long as the grace of God allows.
He told me once that he found old buildings comforting. They were, some of them, as old as him, if not older; a reassuring constant in a changing world.
But as my feet find me walking the streets of Ballinasloe, I realise with some sadness that these churches were all erected after he left this place.
I do not know why I sought his church; I have long fled my own.
I think, perhaps, I had naively hoped to find this place as untouched by the world as him; a pocket of Ireland preserved in the dusty unworldliness of times long past, long before I was even born.
Forbidden is the word he used.
One does not become a heresiarch on the technicality of a word.
Perhaps that hurts more than anything else; because I think he knew it as well as I did.
The countryside here is beautiful, it’s true. And if I close my eyes, I can almost imagine him walking this road, his footsteps laying the foundations for mine some two hundred years ago.
I think, though, that even in the peace of one of these little cottages, in the company of books and artefacts and that endless sky, I would have grown restless. Perhaps I would have given in to wanderlust, always returning here a little more jaded, a little more broken. Perhaps I would have taken him with me, uprooted him time and again, house after house but always home in his arms.
Perhaps it would have been I who broke his heart, in the end.
I court sorrow in all my nights, but I do not indulge in it myself as deeply as I ought. Perhaps, in seeing how cruelly I can wield it against others, I have learned rightly to be afraid of it.
Who could stand in the face of this emptiness…
And not be filled with terror?
If I stepped back into my car now, I could perhaps make it to the border by dawn.
I find, though, that I am not yet done.
And so, instead, I sink down on to one of these benches, the brisk sharp wind buffeting against my bare calves as though I might feel the cold, not half as cold as I. I eye the brightening sky with a sad gaze, matching grey for grey. Across the road, I spy the face of a feral cat peering out from the shelter of a car, watching me in turn, and a poem drifts to mind, murmured in a soft Irish lilt as the ghost of a forlorn memory strokes the curve of my cheek.
And I am grateful for small mercies, that no one walks these streets this hour to see me cry.
"I miss you. I miss your advice. I...I could use some right now."
Amelia tucked a stray lock of hair behind her ear. "I've been asked to sire. It's complicated, but he's...well, he's nice. And I'm sure he'll be useful. He'll be more useful than me, certainly. I just...I don't...He picked me because he thinks I'm nice, and I'm worried...I'm just worried. I'm scared.
"Oh, I wish you were here. If I could ask you for advice...it would help. A lot. But it's ok...I mean, I know you'd be awake if you could help it.
"Anyway, I just...thought you should know. So you're not alarmed when you wake up and are a grand-sire.
"I hope you like him.
"I hope he likes you. I mean, I don't know how he could not, but I know these things happen. But I hope not. I mean, I hope he does.
"And I hope you're not mad at me for doing this. I know I'm a disappointment to you a lot of the time. I'm sorry for that."
She bent and put her cheek against his hand, whispering "Please come back soon."
And that's how she stayed for the rest of the night.