“What’s it like, being a vampire?” she asked.
“Awful at first. If you get abandoned by the one that turned you, or the one that turned you knows nothing about vampire life, it’s pretty bad. You don’t know how to control it, how to stop feeding before you kill. Nothing compares to the agony of getting caught in the sun. And the guilt... It haunts you, it hurts you, but you can turn it off. You don’t have to feel anything at all. But if you turn off the guilt, and the misery, you lose the ability to love.”
“How do you...”
“Kill a vampire?” Alex finished for her. Beth nodded slowly. “Well, it’s hard. Sunlight is actually the hardest way of killing a vampire; you have to check whether they’re wearing a talisman, and you have to keep them down for over half an hour. Of course, there are more effective ways: stake through the heart, beheading, death by fire, ripping the heart out, et cetera. You could put a vampire in a river.”
“What would that do?” Beth asked.
“Well, vampires can’t cross running water. If it hurts to try and cross a bridge, imagine what it would be like to be held under one. Your insides try to tear apart, your blood vessels explode, your brain swells massively.”
“Precisely. It’s a common method of vampire torture actually. Popular with hunters.”
“Vampire hunters actually exist?”
“Of course. Mr Ashfield’s a hunter. You know, the Maths teacher.”
“No way. How can you tell?”
“Well, other than the fact that he threatened me several times, and tried to get me to take my talisman off, he wears the necklace. It’s supposed to ward off vampires and mess with our minds. Safe to say, it doesn’t work.”
“What kind of... powers do vampires have?”
“When a vampire kills a human, they absorb the life essence. With enough of the essence, a vampire can develop abilities such as shape-shifting, telekinesis and controlling the weather. Even without killing humans, vampires can telepathically talk to each other, once blood has been shared. Strength, speed, senses and all of that are increased greatly. Vampires aren’t immortal but the healing process is much faster and more effective so even a broken bone will be healed in only a minute. We can also meddle in people’s dreams if we want to.”
“What else?” Beth asked.
“I’m not really sure what else to tell you.”
Beth sat for a moment, thinking about everything that she had learnt. Millions and millions of questions burnt through her mind, all trying to get out first.
“In some films and books, vampires can drink animal blood. Is that true?”
“No,” Alex scoffed. “It has to be human. Animal blood is actually weakening. It’s better than nothing but it’ll cripple you to the point of death eventually.”
“Wait, you said that some vampires can control the weather. Was that what the snow was today?”
Alex nodded. “Yes. Robert did it.”
“How did you become a vampire?” Beth asked, her head tipping to the side.