When I was younger I always wanted the sun. I always craved the light. I wanted to hold the rays like I saw in story books in my hands and I wanted to tie them around my wrist like a bunch of bright balloons. I never wanted to let them go. But no matter how many times I tried to stay up long enough to watch the sun, I never could... ((not your usual vampire story...))

I remember the moment he was born. My mother was covered in pink sweat, her pale flesh glistening magnificently. My grandmother cleaned him carefully. He was watching with peacefully quiet eyes, completely silent as he regarded the world. Papa took the wrapped baby and placed a drop of crimson blood against his lips. The baby suckled it softly and Papa put his wrist to the baby's mouth. The slurping sound of his uncoordinated lips made me curious and I climbed onto my mother's bed to watch. When Papa pulled his wrist away, Tomas' mouth was stained red. Papa carefully sunk his teeth into the chest of the baby, and instantly his cries filled the room. From that moment on, for the first year of his life, he did nothing but scream. He was never satiated. Never happy. The only time his cries were quieted was while he drank and during the light of day, when even the newest Merlucht would be unable to resist the pull of unconsciousness.

When I was younger I always wanted the sun. I always craved the light. I wanted to hold the rays like I saw in story books in my hands and I wanted to tie them around my wrist like a bunch of bright balloons. I never wanted to let them go. But no matter how many times I tried to stay up long enough to watch the sun, I never could. Papa would always pick me up, ignoring my puppy eyes, and tuck me in my bed. He'd kiss my forehead and hand me my teddy. It was always that simple, and I always forgot about it until the next night. When I cried, he scolded me and told me that the sun would hurt me, and when I hung to the windowpane with all the might my fingers could handle he'd carefully untwine my fingers and pull me away.

As vividly as I can remember wanting the sun, I can remember the lack of my mother being around. I can barely remember what she looked like. I remember that her eyes were the same color as mine, and that she could sing. She sang beautifully sweet lullabies. I never can remember her holding me right, or kissing me right; she never acted as though a mother should with her children. After Tomas was born, she would disappear for weeks. Papa left with us when Thomas was eight months old. We left America for Europe, the home of our Kind. For years we lived in the deep country of Sweden, miles away from people. We were left to the company of each other. We grew up as each other's best friend. We were desperate for other children, for acceptance. We were shunned from the day, from life. We wanted to be like Jack and Jill from our story books. We wanted golden skin and we wanted our eyes to ache from the sun. It never happened, of course. We came to realistically understand that we would never have golden skin, and that if our eyes were to ache from the sun, then our bodies would be burned.

I was eleven when Papa had heard of a traveling night fair that was coming into the nearest village. He wanted us to see it. The minute we entered we could do nothing but stand still and grasp each other's hands so tightly that our fingers and knuckles turned white. Instantly we ran around, laughing, and eating ice-cream (which made us horribly sick the next day). For once we went and talked to people and watched them do magic and saw that they were different. Just like us. Papa came across the owner and they became easy friends over the two weeks that the fair was in the village. Noal invited us to join him, to travel with him. I immediately loved him like a grandfather I had never experienced.

Edgar, my father, and Tomas, my brother, are Merlucht, or what mortals call vampires. Immortal men who live of the blood of humans and the energy of sex. They are far from the mythical creatures and fantasy monsters that people know of. They are quite normal. Even though they do have pale complexions and normally cold hands and feet, they don't live in dead bodies. They are very much alive. There are many different types of Merlucht. Papa and Tomas are classic vampires; powerful, mighty, and rulers of kingdoms. Classical vampires live longer and better. Both Papa and Tomas develop awful blisters from any trace of daylight and can even die from it, so they sleep during the day. Tomas has learned only what Papa has taught him, and he practically eats any piece of literature that is set in front of him.

Emmy and I are somewhat different. We are Merle. Though we can't properly digest almost all food and drinks; we never feed off fresh blood direct from a human unless it is life or death. We are able to go out into the sun, though we burn incredibly easily. We also were schooled by Papa, though I stopped actual lessons soon after I turned fifteen, as did Emmy.

Merle and Merlucht grow up very differently. In the old ages, Merle and Merlucht were raised separately so that the changes that took place wouldn't interfere with the other. At a young age they were sent away to boarding houses, to be raised by elders. Fortunately, as time has passed, there are many Merlucht and Merle, like us, who live almost as mortals. A Merle ages fairly normally, though our 'puberty' of sorts comes late, at 18. I was just like all other seventeen year old Merle; short, plain, and underdeveloped. After you turn eighteen, the next six months is when your body undergoes it's change. We grow taller and fill out; we become the beautiful creatures our kind is known for. It can happen within a few days or within the whole six months, no one really knows. In my case the change was a period of a month. The rest of the six months are different for us, though Unlike mortals who can desire sexual activities at young ages, we never even experience sexual desire until we're six months past our eighteenth birthday. As full Merle we are extremely sexual beings and it can come as a huge surprise when feelings and desires you've never felt are suddenly overcoming your daily activities. Between the ages of nineteen and twenty-five, Merlucht will come. Maybe only one, maybe five or eight. After that, bindings are rare, but they do happen occasionally. If the right one comes, we participate in an instinctual and binding ritual. My father once described it to me as "something pulling you towards the right direction". It's simple to tell if he is meant for me or not, at least from what I've read. The ultimate decision lies within me, within my own heart. It is my decision whether I will stay with him or take my chance with the next one that I meet. Papa says I will know if we are to stay together the second I look at him. And either way I'm guaranteed a mate. In the old ages, almost all Merle and Merlucht were granted 'eternal mates'. But, now, it's almost rare, and some of us go our entire lives not finding the right person. It's hard to know what to expect.

Around the mid-twenties the aging process comes to a nearly complete stop. A twenty year old Merle will look mature, in the mid-twenties, and after children they look as if they're in their late twenties. After that, though, aging doesn't happen. A Merlucht though, has a fairly normal growth rate. 'Puberty' comes somewhat early, around fourteen, but sexuality comes later, around seventeen or eighteen. Most Merlucht will be aligned with a partner at the equivalent of twenty-five. Which is about a hundred and fifty years old. There have been tales of six hundred year old Merlucht finding their 'eternal mate' in a nineteen year old Merle. No thanks!

The End

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