A short story about how a man was turned into a vampire.
Philippe Web nervously fondled the silver pocket watch in his waistcoat as he entered the small ballroom. It was lightly decorated with sky blue silks hanging from the ceiling and new paintings of flowers and fields hung on the wall. The guests however, were far more decorated than the room; the women were wearing their best gowns which were usually silks and lace in an assortment of bright and pastel colours. The men as well were dressed in their finest coats, some wore a dark purple with patterns of flowers sewn upon it, while most men just wore the elegant black. Philippe Web was underdressed for such an occasion, his black coat had the look that it had been worn too many times and his hair was dishevelled from running across London. Suddenly, Philippe felt aware of how completely dirty and insufficient he felt among the elite of society, looking down at his coat he tried to brush away the dust that clung to it and he raked his hand through his dark brown hair. It wasn’t much, but at least he felt a little more presentable.
No one looked up at him as he took two small steps further into the room or rather no one wanted to pay him any attention, Philippe Web was not exactly a pauper but if he tried to buy one of those coats the other men wore he would end up with missing limbs.
A small smile appeared on his lips as his eyes instantly landed on the person that he had come half way across the city to see. Taking a deep breath Philippe summoned all of the courage he could muster and walked towards her, Sybil Kerrigan, who was standing amongst the crowd that watched the dancers in the middle of the room.
Sybil Kerrigan was thought of by many men in London to be the most beautiful woman in England, her golden hair wove in ringlets, her large blue eyes sparkled in the light and her bone white skin was as if someone had painted it on her. Bachelors and suitors came to her asking for her hand in marriage, but Sybil also had the reputation for being ‘picky’ with the men who asked her for her hand and as of yet she had not agreed to any marriage.
Standing behind Sybil was her younger sister, Margot; a homely and gaunt girl compared to the beauty of her older sister. Margot Kerrigan was often the butt end of a joke, she was pitied by the older women and very often she was turned down to dance by a man who only had eyes for Sybil. Margot Kerrigan hardly spoke, instead her sister made up for the both of them and no one thought twice about it for it was the collective idea that because Margot was painful on the eyes her voice would be painful on the ears. So instead Margot Kerrigan was just a shadow.
Philippe smiled at Sybil as her eyes locked on to his and in an instant she was walking to the far end of the room where glass doors opened to a stone balcony that looked over the large and perfectly tended to garden. Philippe followed her outside, the air was a little warm and the wind blew so quietly and softly that it hardly moved any leaves at all; it was a perfect night. He looked at her small frame, her back was towards him as she looked out towards the garden and just as he was about to say her name her body whipped itself around. Her eyes stared angrily at him, her usually full lips had now turned into a thin line and it looked like she was biting the inside of her mouth.
“Sybil?” Philippe started as he walked towards her, but she shook her head and stepped away from him, her back almost hitting the balcony rail.
“Why did you come here?” She hissed angrily, her eyes burned him and Philippe instead looked down at the ground below him.
“I wanted to tell you some news; you didn’t answer to my letters.” Philippe explained quietly, he hated that he felt such a coward underneath Sybil’s scorn and yet after an argument he never felt angry at her instead he blamed himself for getting her so angry. Silence surrounded them for a few moments, neither of them spoke and the awkwardness of their silence only grew still.
“Well?” Sybil asked, her voice was impatient and Philippe looked up at her in surprise to see she had her hands on her hips now “what’s the news that was so important to come over here and tell me.” Her voice had turned yet again into hiss and she sounded more impatient as she looked up at him expectantly.
Philippe fumbled with his words, his right hand automatically fondled his pocket watch as he tried to form the answer in his head, “I was able to find a job, a lawyer, although the money won’t be much for a year or so, but once I start to get clients we’ll have enough money to buy our own home and I can buy all the gowns and jewellery that you desire.” Philippe smiled with excitement as he told Sybil the news, but her face never changed and showed no sign that she liked the news or not.
Instead she laughed without humour; she hid her anger behind it and shook her head at him as if he were some child. Philippe frowned, confused as to why she wasn’t happy about him getting a job and having money, it was what both them wanted and had hoped and wished for three years.
“Charles Tonnerre asked for my hand…” Sybil began, she had a small smile appearing on her face “and I accepted and this party is to announce our engagement.” She looked straight at Philippe and saw neither remorse nor any sign that she felt guilty or sad.