Flowing Layers



When I had been six I had owned a beautiful little red dress that I would never take off. It had little lace flowers on the edges at the bottom and little bell sleeves. I would spin around in circles and imagine myself as a gypsy.

I remember that my mother had picked it out for me, she had shown it to me one day after I had come back from school. I had danced in circles for weeks, enjoying my new flowing celebration of dance in my little red dress.

When I was seven I wore it to school; I had always been too small for my age so most clothes fit me for years at a time. My friends had picked at it and the boys had giggled and thrown dirt at my gleaming dress. My mom had fallen to her knees at the sight of me covered in murky brown dirt. My eyes had been bleeding tears of pain and my hair had been all disheveled. But the worst part, despite my physical and emotional pain, had been the large holes embedded in my dress from me falling while running away from the bullies.

My mother had told me not to worry, "It is all right darling," I still remember her melancholic voice chime through my tears. "This can be patched up quick!"

A giant shake of my head had silenced her instantly and with a decided shrug I had taken off the dress and had run to the safety of my room, swearing that the little gypsy dress had betrayed me; its magic of fluidity and beauty being nothing but an illusion.

It took me several days later to find my mom sobbing at the sewing machine with my father's gentle voice soothing her, "It's all right Lilly, she is just a child and she was bullied... she is just fearful."

"This dress," my mom had whispered, "Took me so long to create for her. When my mother did the same for me, I had shunned her fashion ideas and sewing abilities and the shame followed me for years after she passed. She never saw me in any of her dresses."

"But Carol Ann wore it," my father had pressed on, "But she is growing up, we can't do much about that."

I had decided to wear the dress until I was ten and it would no longer fit. I had been wearing it the day of the accident; that much I could remember.

The memory of the little red dress that now sits in my closet amongst my other worn clothes reminds me of my current predicament. I wear this new life with wonder, seeing what the world has to offer me now, but I feel weary, like something just isn't right.

After finding out the history of the species that I had become I am now more curious about the image that I unwillingly encountered in Lucas's mind and about the mysterious circumstances of my parents' demise.

"Tomorrow, you will be working again and your life will become much like it was before—only with obvious changes in several aspects." At this, Lucas gives my hand a firm squeeze. "I will be returning to my home, which is near yours, and you will establish your life as a new vampire."

A question suddenly emerges in my head and I look at him, "But, what will I eat?" I gulp down the bile that is beginning to crawl steeply up my throat. "Do I have to...to drink blood?"

Lucas laughs and shakes his head, "No, our kind does no such thing! We embody much of what mortals are. We just need to eat a lot of: red meat—cooked, red wine, and tomato juice; that is our diet."

I look ahead as we walk down the busy intersections of downtown Toronto as I let the information envelope me in my new lifestyle. We stop at the lights and for the first time I realize that the sun is no longer as high in the sky as it had been when we had gone into the building. The sun is now hiding behind some of the large, tall buildings and the city is set in a dim glow of lonely daylight and the impending solitude of night. The sounds escaping from the city life emphasizes the need for company and the fear of silence.

Now barely any children can be seen, just a sea of adults and teenagers making their way through the adventures that the night brings. At this moment, awaiting the lights to turn red, I realize that I have not heard Lucas think for the last hour. Sensing my sudden emotional change (I had started to feel a little confused as to why I couldn't hear Lucas) a hand is firmly placed on my lower back, but no calming is introduced to my body. Nothing occurs as Lucas keeps his cold hands on my back. I do not act upon this and I let him believe that I am calm once more.

The light turns red and we cross. Multiples of people, tall and short, run past us trying to catch a bus that is briefly paused on the side of the street.

"You are so quiet tonight Carol Ann," Lucas announces, leaving no room for speculation that perhaps Lucas was simply not thinking anything for me to hear. "Do you not have questions?"

Yes, I begin. I want to know who the man in your thoughts rubbing tears off of my childhood eyes is.

I look at him expectantly, but he is still staring, awaiting my question. I find this odd and feel that his hand is heavy in mine. "No," I answer aloud, "Everything was answered for me today, but thank you."

He smiles, his charm lost on me.

What is wrong with me? I think, now apparently to myself only, the loneliness echoing in my mind.

Nothing is wrong with you, I hear faintly and I look up at Lucas walking briskly beside me. Not him, he does not hear us.

I stop walking abruptly and Lucas's hand yanks on mine as he unknowingly keeps walking. I look around me trying to figure out whose voice is floating in my head. Lucas is out of the question, this is a voice that obviously belongs to a man, but is five times silkier and more caring than Lucas's.

Carol Ann, Carol Ann, how I have  searched for you my love.

My eyes swell with the tears that I never felt for Lucas as I look about me, ignoring the worried look that I know he is giving my back.

You're so close to me Carol Ann.

I look to my right and see him, standing at the corner of the intersection that Lucas and I had just crossed. Women walk by staring admiringly up at his beauty. His black hair sits defiantly on his pale head and his green eyes shine bright in the darkness of the dawn. His flushed lips bare white teeth and his cheekbones show the tense set of his jaw-line as he stares intently at me from across the street.

I see him eye Lucas behind me, but I find myself not caring. My tears fall down my cheeks, nearly freezing on my cold, dead cheeks as I feel something that Lucas had tried to instill in me with his deciding bite, but that I now know was a simple, thin layer of falseness.

The End

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