Chapter 28: The Future
“Josie,” said Zephyr, “I want to show you something.”
“What do you want to show me?” I asked.
He showed me two bottles of a familiar-looking potion.
“How did you get that?”
“I didn’t get it today. I got it a few days ago.”
“I was going to say, I didn’t see you go in the classroom.”
“Do I need both bottles?”
“Last time I had this, I was human.”
“So what?” said Zephyr.
“It doesn’t matter?” I asked him.
“No, it doesn’t matter. It only wouldn’t work on someone who’s already psychic – like me.”
“What would it do to you?”
“I don’t know, but it certainly wouldn’t do what it’s supposed to do. I do have more than just those two bottles, so we could see what that experiment would do.”
“You’re not serious?”
“Well, we could if you wanted to.”
“Maybe,” I said. “We’ll see after I’ve taken mine.”
“We’ll be waiting a while then. It doesn’t matter though. What matters when you’ve got all the time in the world?”
That was true. We had all the time in the world. We were never going to die.
Zephyr put the bottles on my bed.
“Take them when you’re ready,” he said simply.
“Do you like letting me inside your head, Zephyr?”
“Well, I’m in everyone else’s heads, so it’s only fair, isn’t it?”
“Fair enough. What do you want to show me anyway?”
“You’ll see,” he said. Oh, he was being mean! Not telling me what it is I’d be seeing. Oh, well, you couldn’t avoid some mystery being friends with Zephyr – he was a mysterious being. Well, not so mysterious now I’d got to know him, but still, he could be a little mysterious when he wanted to be.
I sat on my bed and pulled the stopper out of one of the bottles and swallowed its contents, maybe a little too fast, and did the same with the second.
Zephyr was in a strange place, one I’d never been in, he was playing a game with someone I did recognise – it was one of his old friends, only he was older than Zephyr now. Zephyr’s friend – I’d forgotten his name – looked about seventeen or eighteen. I saw me as well, with another of Zephyr’s friends, Zéphine. I was walking down a street, talking to Zéphine.
“It’s Zephyr’s birthday soon, Josie. Next week, I think it is.”
“I know,” I said. “What are you getting him?”
“A new cloak. He’ll already know though, won’t he?”
“Yes, he will,” I said. “And he’ll already know I’m getting him a guitar.”
“Oh, he’ll love that,” said Zéphine.
“It’s your birthday in a month.”
“Yes, it is,” said Zéphine. “Miserable old me getting older.”
“Well, what do you want for your birthday?” I asked her.
“Nothing,” she replied.
“Yeah,” she said.
“OK,” I said. Zéphine was easy to please.
A week or so later, we were at Zephyr’s parents’ house. I’d been here before, but it was in Zephyr’s past. There were balloons up and some of them said eighteen.
“Happy birthday!” we all said to him.
“Fourteen again,” I said simply. “Four years now, isn’t it?”
“Yeah,” he said. “They all know we’re not ageing, but they’re pretending otherwise.”
“Don’t you want to pretend, or do you want to be fourteen again?”
“Let’s pretend I’m eighteen and we’ll pretend you’re seventeen as well.”
We both laughed.
Next we were at school. We were in the older class as well – again, it was a pretence. No, wait, it wasn’t school, it was an Academy-Zero. Yikes! However had we got to such an advanced place? Still, vampires were a doddle. It was the other things that were hard.
“Describe in as much detail as possible, stating sources used for research, the process of transformation from human to vampire” were the exact words in one of the questions on the test paper on vampires we’d been given. There would be no sources of research stated – I could write this just from experience.
“Well,” said Zephyr, “how have you answered that one then?”
I read my answer to Zephyr. I didn’t need to, but I just felt like reading it. If I read it to myself anyway, it might make some sort of sense. Or at least that was what I hoped.
“A vampire produces venom in their salivary glands in their mouths, which coats the vampire’s teeth – or fangs. It is fairly superfluous as transformation is its sole use, therefore meaning a vampire may never use it. Like other cells, venom contains DNA.
The process of transformation is initiated by a vampire biting a human. When this happens, vampire venom is injected into the human’s bloodstream, slowly burning the human’s blood cells and changing the human’s DNA. It is not just unpleasant, in fact, that is a serious understatement. It is extremely painful for the human. The pain gets progressively worse as the process goes on, often meaning the human is unable to move and is pinned down wherever the vampire has chosen to turn or change them. The pain only decreases when the process is almost over, ceasing completely when it is over. About halfway through the slow process, the human’s skin should be paling and lowering in temperature. A little later on, the human’s eyes should be turning red and their teeth should be sharpening. Once these things have happened, the process ends soon afterwards. The process typically lasts between two and five days depending on several factors: how many times the vampire bites the human, and therefore how much venom enters the bloodstream, where the human is bitten, as the closer it is to the heart, the sooner it is over, and how tall or short the human is, although there are cases of it lasting either shorter or longer periods of time.
Also, as well as producing the visual vampire features, vampire venom creates a physical bond between the human and the vampire turning them once it is in the human’s blood. This bond often means vampire and human stay together as friends, or a romantic item depending on their previous relationship. These relationships can be changed or unchanged.
The vampire transforming the human is known as a sire. There is no name given for the human.
The personality of the sire, their relationship with the human and the circumstances they are in all have an effect on the human’s experience during transformation.
Given the painful and slow nature of vampire venom, transformation can be used as a method of torture by evil vampires. In the worst cases, the human, in this case, labelled the victim, is bitten only once or twice and left in agony. This is dragged out the most and it is, thankfully, rare for such sadistic, brutal and unfeeling vampires to exist. Revenge is often sought following transformation of this cruel nature.
At best, the human only feels the vampire’s initial bites and is unaware they are being turned. This case is only possible if the vampire hypnotises the human by making eye contact with them and staring at them. This numbs all the pain of the venom and can make the human sleep or can knock them out. For the human to feel nothing at all, the vampire would need to exert a lot of energy into using this power, which would eventually exhaust him or her. It is good if the vampire hunts – or feeds – one or two days before the transformation is planned, the human knows what to expect, the vampire bites the human a lot, the human is friends with the vampire, the human is in a familiar, comfortable place and the vampire uses hypnosis as much as they can without exhausting themselves. However, it is bad if the vampire is sadistic and/or evil and victimises the human, leaving them in unpleasant places, uses little or no hypnosis and deliberately drags out the process by biting the human only once.”
“Well, I think you’ve got that exact there,” said Zephyr. “I’m surprised you didn’t mention me or you though.”
“Am I allowed to?”
“You can if you want. There’s nothing stopping you.”
I added two more paragraphs to my essay.
“Worst case scenario – Kat and Zephyr Daniels. Kat and Zephyr met at school and were boyfriend and girlfriend, or so everyone thought. Like most of the boys in his year, Zephyr had fallen madly in love with Kat, whose beauty was known throughout the village Zephyr used to live in. Kat posed as his girlfriend, making him one of her victims. Shortly after his fourteenth birthday, Kat took Zephyr to her house and knocked him to the floor in her bedroom. There, she bit Zephyr only twice and left him, ending their relationship. Zephyr killed Kat with my help over a year and a half after his transformation due to Kat’s being crafty as a fox and having a higher than average survival instinct, allowing her to move through places quickly, making her difficult to catch.
Good scenario: Zephyr Daniels and Josienne Hawkes. I met Zephyr at school, and on discovering his vampiric nature, initially feared him, though we soon became friends later on. Zephyr turned me so I could help him find and destroy Kat. Zephyr bit me many times, had me lying on my bed for the entirety of the process and used hypnosis, meaning there were seldom moments where I felt anything. Zephyr hunted shortly beforehand, returning the day of my transformation. Zephyr never left my side during the process, which lasted only a day, and we have remained best friends ever since, although Zephyr is now in love with me.”
Next, I was in an unfamiliar room. It looked somewhat like a classroom, but I didn’t have a clue where the hell it was. I was singing. My voice sounded weird. Not much weirder than it was now, but still, it was weird. If I couldn’t see that it was me singing, I wouldn’t know if it was a man or a woman singing. It sounded a bit like me though. There was a man standing next to me, much older than I was, then at the tender age of eighteen – or at least that was what I was pretending. I imagined it wasn’t a place a fourteen-year-old should really be.
The man was listening to me sing. I was singing something dark, but I couldn’t think what it was called.
“Tenor,” he said.
What? Me? Tenor? He was CRAZY! I was a girl, for crying out loud! But then, I suppose, he was right. My low voice wasn’t even passable for that of a low contralto.
Zephyr had just shown me some weird visions of the future. I knew the future wasn’t set in stone and was very subjective.
“How much of that do you actually think is going to happen?” I asked him.
“All of it,” he said.
Then Zephyr drank the two bottles of the potion he had left. It was intriguing to see what would happen, but I did think it was a bit stupid if the whole point of the potion was to temporarily make a person psychic, if they weren’t psychic already and Zephyr was already psychic, but then Zephyr was more than a bit daft.
Shortly after Zephyr had drunk his potion, we both fell asleep.
When we woke up, Zephyr shook himself and got up. I just sat and gazed around my room.
“Come on,” said Zephyr. “Let’s go and stretch our wings a bit.”
“Alright,” I said.
We turned into bats and flew out of my window. We flew a long way, deeper into the forests. We were flying mostly south, I think, maybe slightly east as well. We stopped after three hours and landed in our other forms on an unfamiliar street somewhere. We walked down the street and turned a corner into another one.
“Nearly there,” he said.
We walked down two more streets and finally we stopped. We were near a few houses. It wasn’t until I saw the silhouettes of two familiar people through the curtains that I realised where Zephyr had taken me.