Kevyn stood in the driveway, cracked cement and overgrown weeds around her feet. The long years without caretakers had caused the house to fall into a state of
disrepair. Parts of the roof were beginning to cave in, and black shingles were
missing from large patches in the roof, exposing the wood framework, parts of
which were rotting or missing. Glass glittered dimly in the tall grass, their
existence being pointed out only by the small glimmers of sunlight that managed
to peer through the thick, grey clouds. The air hummed with the electricity of
a coming storm, making Kevyn’s skin prickle with excitement.
Storms were the best time to go hunting, Kevyn decided. That way, the humans were already filled with fear when she fed. Fear made them taste better.
She exhaled, a long slow breath, and slowly picked her way through the rubble of the driveway. The thick wooden door was rotten and barely hanging on the
hinges, so she kicked it once, and it fell with a resonating thud that shook
the entire house. Dust rose from the floor in a brown-grey cloud, then slowly
fell back to cover the floor like it had for the past fifty years.
A sudden strong wind blew, causing the house to shift slightly and moan loudly as if it were alive. Kevyn’s pupils dilated and shifted from dusky gold to
brilliant silver. She was in tracking mode, not for food, but for a memory.
Her senses in high alert, she walked through the large entryway to the staircase that had once been used for servants. She remembered this house when it had been like that. She had lived here when the house had first been alive. But
those times were long gone, and now she, like the house, were dead, or rather
in a state of suspended animation, existing somewhere between the living and
The house creaked as the wind blew again and Kevyn leaped over a stair step that would have broken beneath her weight. She let her feet lead her, they knew
where they were going. Her eyes half closed, she came to the first landing and
the door that led to the main hallway.
This hallway she knew well. This was the hallway her room had been on. This was the first house where she and her sisters, Tracey and Melissa, hadn’t had to share a room.
A low growl escaped Kevyn’s lips. In truth, she’d really hated her whole family, but especially her sisters. They were so annoying with all of their whining and wanting and lying and crying. Kevyn had rejoiced when Asher had turned her. In fact, it was her coaxing that made him kill her family that night fifty years
ago. She never understood why she didn’t do it herself, but it had already been
done, and there was no changing who had done it.
Slowly, as if in a trance, Kevyn walked down the hallway, each step stirring up small clouds of grey-brown dust from the ragged velvet carpet, like small breaths
from a dying dragon.
She stopped outside of the last room on the left. This was the room where it had happened. This was the room where she’d invited Asher in through the window,
not knowing what he was. This was the room where Asher had killed her and she’d
Slowly, Kevyn pushed open the door. The hinges were rusted from the long years of disuse and protested with a loud, grating shriek as she pushed it open. The
room was exactly as it had been that night, save for the thick layer of dust
that coated everything like a thick blanket. She walked in, focusing on her bed
as the memories came rushing back to her like a tidal wave. She could see
Asher, crouched in the windowsill outside, asking her permission to enter, his
silver-white eyes coaxing her from the bed to the window. After he was in, he’d
covered her mouth with his hand, his eyes commanding her not to make a single
sound, no matter what. And oddly, she’d never had the slightest inclination to
She remembered the feeling of his hands, slightly rough with strange calluses, pulling back her hair and pushing down the top of her nightgown to reveal her collarbone.
“Is that why you came back here?” asked a voice that was suddenly there and too close.
Kevyn spun away and landed in a crouch near the door.
Asher laughed, his eyes silver-white and unreadable. “You’re too easy to predict and sneak up on, Kevyn. However, you’re smart and good, which is obviously why you’re still alive,” he said as he walked toward her and grabbed her arms to pull her up. “We’re friends here, no need to get defensive like that.”
She hissed and jerked away from him. “I don’t need your help. And why are you here?”
“You never did need help from anyone, let alone me. Even after you were first changed, you were always wanting to do everything by yourself. You knew the
laws once you were changed,” Asher said bitterly.
“I’m not some chattel for you to own, Asher. I broke that law for good reason,” Kevyn said as she slowly stood, never taking her eyes off his.
Asher shook his head and laughed softly. “You were never chattel to me, Kevyn. You knew that. You knew that before we were both changed. You knew that before anything else, you meant so much more to me.”
Kevyn growled at the back of her throat. “Really? Because you were always nothing to me,” she said angrily as she stepped out of the room and disappeared into the shadows.
“And that’s all I’ll ever be to you, isn’t it?” Asher asked the shadows where she disappeared.