William: Step Inside

Blustery winds sent snow into my eyes. The park was on raised ground looking down on most of the city, I could see potential food everywhere within the fretwork of concrete and light.

The slow descent back to the to the square was longer than I anticipated, 120 years of life tends to make living drag a little, but I had always been in the circus, the juggler and knife thrower with pinpoint accuracy, and the gymnast and fire breather. With vampirism, it all got easier. But the pleasure in doing it changed, it was a sick pleasure on the one hand, inviting in all these humans, smelling them, knowing we could have them in a heartbeat, it was a testament to our restraint. The other side was doing our duty, giving second chances.

I heard sobbing ahead, I got confused, the girl had gone the opposite way hadn't she?

I stepped closer.

"Little girl, are you okay?" I asked, getting closer by the second, My breath rising in curls before my eyes, I could barely see, but I knew it wasn't the same girl.

I was now close enough to see her clothes, or rags. A long torn shirt with ripped jeans and a small headband over her long, scraggly chestnut hair.

I was just a foot away.

Why am I not having to restrain myself? I puzzled, I smelt the air, not human-

She lunged at me before I could react, her eyes silver. She winded me, in a moment of shock I was overpowered, my arms pinned to the floor, her teeth ready to sink into my throat.

I mustered up all my authority.

"Stop!" I roared. And she did, frozen in place. Standing up I lifted her off me. She just looked up at me through her fringe with malevolence.

"Are you newborn?" I asked, surprised. She gave me a toothy grin and nodded, returning to her grimace, "I'm surprised at you're restraint, letting someone get so close to you, excellent tactics," she grinned at the compliment.

"Hm, Carnie Code states I should invite you to live in our circus," she gasped in awe, whether human or vampire, everyone loved the circus, "we're like Guardians that move around, we offer a home to those that have lost their way. A rehabilitation centre showing them what to eat, how to respect al life, a second chance."

"More like my 100th," I chuckled and held out my hand, she took it, "do you kill vampires?" she asked, "the Guardians do," I wondered where her knowledge came from as we walked down the path, trees lining the sides.

I sighed, "We offer homes, if they reject us we leave them be, the Guardians move in on what we don't take, however if we release them into the world, we check on them, if they do something they shouldn't, then we kill them, it's like a child stabbing the parent in the heart."

She looked at me sadly, "you sound like that has happened to you," she perceived.

"More like a lover," I whispered, "but I didn't kill her."

We continued to walk, in silence for a while. A young couple walked past at one point, her grip tightened.

"So, who are you?" I turned at her question, let go of her hand and grinned at her.

I raised my arms in an embrace of all before me and in a most dramatic voice said, "I..? I am William..." I leaped on to a tree, "William the Wonderous!" I leapt onto another tree and she giggled like a little girl. I snapped of several branches, "juggler!" I began juggling, "fire breathing!" I blew a gust of wind at a branch as if I were blowing flames, the breath hitting the branch making coils and rings, "and gymnast!" I jumped off the branch, rolling and sumersaulting and landing right before her, "and actor," I held her cheek, feigning tragedy. I stepped back and she applauded.

"How did you do it?" she wondered.

Practice... with a little help from vampirism," I held her hand again as we approached the entrance, "I could teach you."

She stopped, looking at the large marble pillars holding an arch that read:

Blood-Thirsty Circus

You Will Come Back, for More!

Red and gold lights painted the white tents, the colour melding together like large pieces of candy cane, the rays moving about.

Many vampires, humans and newborns wandered around in awe.

"Welcome to your new home," I was in front of her, making a welcoming gesture, arms outstretched, "Step inside and let me show you around..."

The End

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