I blinked my eyes open slowly, slightly dazed. I was vaguely aware of something moving from my shoulder, something like a hand, but the movement was quick and before I’d had time to register the figure at the edge of my vision, he or she was gone.
I suddenly remembered last night. I sat bolt upright. Oh. It was still night time. The moon shone through my window, illuminating the floorboards.
I glanced at my alarm clock. 01:00, it read. I wondered why I felt a little light-headed.
Then I saw the note. Holding it up to the glowing screen of my alarm clock, I read the near hand-writing. It said,
Don’t get up too quickly. While you were in a trance, I suddenly realised that I hadn’t drunk for a while. I was really thirsty. Do not be alarmed - I only took a little blood.
Thank you for last night,
I was suddenly furious. What right had he to drink my blood? And what did he mean, ‘Thank you for last night,’? He was the one who had put me in a light trance so I would go to him!
That day, I moped about, even sulking when I was lying under the clear blue sky in the lovely summer warmth. I went to bed early that evening, still angry. Mum and Dad were bemused, to say the least. I fell asleep quickly and dreamt about angry bulls charging down vampires.
I woke up at midnight again, but not to a serenade.
‘Good evening, Terri,’ came the voice in my head. He sounded ridiculously cheerful, as if last night hadn’t happened. I couldn’t see him in my room, so I replied with my thoughts.
‘Go away!’ At least my thoughts were clearer than they’d been last night.
‘I don’t want to.’ The voice sounded mischievous.
Well, it’s you who’s going to be standing outside until you give up.
‘Hardly.’ I heard a snort in my mind. ‘I thought letting you have free will would appease you, but I could always serenade you. Last night’s serenade was quite the success.’
‘You wouldn’t!’ I growled
“Come, come...” floated the beginning of the enchanting melody.
‘All right! I’m coming already.’ I was annoyed at his light-heartedness. I was still thinking about him drinking my blood. I was so preoccupied with my thoughts that I barely registered the fact that all I had to do was move forwards, since the lyrics Christopher had sung had brought me out of bed.
‘It seems I may have to stifle your emotions.’ His tone was grave, but it was a teasing, mock gravity. I realised he could probably do what he said, though.
‘Don’t! I’ll get back into bed,’ I threatened, before remembering he was still able to serenade.
And I’ll start serenading now, if you don’t pick up the pace.
I quickly hurried to the window at this.
Christopher was in the same place as last night, possessing the same lazy air, though his captivating smile was more mischievous than alluring tonight.
What do you want?
‘To see you again,’ he answered simply.
‘Well, you’ve seen me. Goodnight.’ I started to turn from the window.
‘Don’t go.’ He almost sang the words and I realised they must have been a hypnotic suggestion as I stood there, helplessly rooted to the spot.
‘Turn around,’ the almost-song continued. I obeyed, unable to resist the voice which had turned alluring but authoritative.
Christopher appeared to be concentrating immensely on something.
‘Come downstairs and join me.’ Almost the same as what he’d said last night, but in this new tone, which I had to admit, slightly scared me. There wasn’t menace in his voice, but I was afraid when my body responded to his orders without my conscious decision to follow them. I found myself taking the same route as last night, but feeling completely different. I almost wished he’d stifle my emotions.
‘When you get outside, I’ll sing you a calming song. I didn’t really want to have to do this. Sorry.’ His voice was relaxed now, back to the original soft tone that had enchanted me last night.
When I got to Christopher, I let out a long breath I hadn’t realised I’d been holding.
There we go. Now, a calming song.
He opened his mouth to sing with his gorgeous voice. I was breath-taken as calm started to flood me. It felt as if I were being immersed in warm water. The glow around him seemed to radiate further and grew lighter in colour as he sang:
“Calm, calm, gently unwind
May some peace seep through your mind
Dream of relaxation, dear
May my song allay your fear”
The world turned black again, but before I lost consciousness, I thought I heard Christopher murmur ‘Oops’ in my mind.
I awoke to find myself lying on the garden swing. Like last night, I felt a contact break from my shoulder, but this time the figure didn’t disappear. Christopher was perched on the arm of the swing.
Sorry, didn’t mean to hypnotise you there.
I sat up slowly, wondering if he’d drunk my blood again.
No, don’t worry. I fed earlier tonight.
“On another human girl?” I found myself asking.
‘No.’ He smiled wryly. ‘On a human boy, actually. But don’t worry. He was in a trance, so he didn’t feel a thing.’
“Yet you took his blood without asking.” My previous anger returned.
He came and sat in the space next to me. He talked aloud, which greatly surprised me. I had wondered whether he could talk aloud. His actual voice was even more enchanting than his thought-voice.
“Do you ask cows for their milk? Sheep for their wool? Hens for their eggs?”
I wasn’t able to answer.
“There you are, then.” He’d taken my silence as defeat.
I suddenly had a strange desire to see his fangs. I couldn’t quite believe I was sitting here, talking to a vampire. He was so matter-of-fact, I wondered if this wasn’t all some hoax.
Christopher seemed caught off guard. I remembered he was psychic.
“My fangs? You want to see them?” He sounded incredulous. I didn’t blame him. It was an odd thing to want. My curiosity blazed inside me, though.
He looked dubious for a minute, but then obliged. “Um, okay.” He opened his mouth and curled back his upper lip.
There, flanking his front teeth was a pair of gleaming, white, sharp, pointed fangs. I fainted.
I woke up, very disorientated. Christopher was kneeling on the ground in front of me, looking concerned. I vaguely noticed I was in the recovery position. Then, I asked the question I should have asked a long time ago. I thought it to him, dazed as I was.
Why did you come here?
He answered in thought-speech, too. ‘I... admire you.’ He sounded uncomfortable. ‘I saw you at school. You always seemed so friendly and sincere, unlike the other girls, who only cared about their image. I was intrigued by the way you never stopped being friendly. Nobody has a perfect week, but you always had a perfect smile. I wanted to be friends with this bright, brilliant girl.’ I realised he was staring at me intently, willing me to understand.
“There aren’t many people who’re my friends both at day and night - especially since I look different by day - but I thought if I approached you like this, if you liked me, you’d be fine befriending me by day and hence you could be one of the rare people who knew both parts of me.”
I was startled. I found my voice. “How do you look by day, then?”
Well, the main features don’t change. I still have brown hair and blue eyes, though the latter are less hypnotic. You can’t see the glow that appears around me by night, and my fangs look like normal human teeth. There’s some pleasure in being ‘human’, actually, since there’s no hypersensitivity and I’m neither psychic nor telepathic. Imagine the embarrassment and awkwardness if I answered a question in someone’s thoughts!
“Hmm.” I imagined the situation. “Couldn’t you just serenade them?” I wondered aloud.
He snorted. ‘I think you phrased that wrong, dearie. A serenade is a love song. I believe you meant, “Couldn’t I just sing to them?”’
If I sang to one person, I’d have to sing to all the people around them and that would be difficult. It’s hard enough maintaining the hypnotic tone necessary while singing quietly. Anyway, I sound like a cat being strangled by day.
It was my turn to snort. “I can’t believe that.”
“Was I difficult to serenade, then?” I surprised myself with this question. And was that a hint of sadness I detected in my tone?
‘Extremely.’ His tone was grave. But then he grinned, showing he was joking.
‘No, it’s easier to enchant with emotion in your voice.’
“Yes. Admiration must be really helpful,” I said sarcastically. It sounded ludicrous.
Oh, it is. It’s more than mere admiration, though. It’s more like adoration.
“Adoration?” I snorted, not quite trusting my ears.
And Christopher stared deeper into my eyes, his eyes blazing with fierce intensity.
‘Yes, Terri.’ He paused. ‘I love you.’
In the silence that followed, the words rang around my head. I love you.