My story is not a happy one. I saved the lives of good people, but of my own life, as always, there is nothing worth saving in the end.
My human life began in 1973. I have almost no memories of my parents, only the occasional blurry vision of dark hair and eyes that leave me feeling tense and afraid. Most of my weak human memories are of the orphanage. Before my new life began, my power was undefined, and uncontrollable. My particular power made growing up with no parents to protect me... unpleasant. Horribly so. But it is also what saved me, and lead to this new life. The old vampire who changed me could keep nothing from me, and he could not kill me. He stayed with me while I went through my painful conversion, then to explain to me what I now was. I destroyed him soon after. He left me no choice.
I have since tried to keep to myself. I never use my awful power unless I am cornered and have no other choice. I hate myself for it, but I hate them even more for making me use it. I keep the beast caged deep inside me, determined to ruin no more lives with it. The echo of my last confrontation still pounded through my head.
Which is how I now found myself in the northwestern United States. To escape the horrors I had faced in Sweden, I would bury myself in these damp, dense forests and never emerge.
I took a deep breath, savoring the solitude around me. It was safest for me to be alone. Here, surrounded by ancient trees, hearing the birds' songs (until they caught sight of me, of course) and the thudding of some large animal's paws, I felt my face twist into an almost forgotten smile.
This is where I would stay. Away from the violent impulses and weak minds of the rest of the world. Here I could learn to better control my vicious power, to tame the beast that, even after so many years, still strains against the bars of its cage at the slightest hint of danger. Here I could be totally...
I still heard the soft padding of large paws on the forest floor, but now I saw the creature the went with them. Huge and menacing, even in stillness, it stood at the edge of the clearing.
My mind instantly rejected the word. I had faced werewolves in the past, and this was not a child of the moon. For one thing, it was daylight, not that much sun was filtering through the trees. But no true werewolf could ever sit as still as this creature was sitting now, watching me with intelligent eyes. It was easily twice as tall as I was, even sitting down. Its thick, reddish brown fur blew lightly in the breeze.
It was beautiful. It should not have sent a chill of fear down my spine. I was indestructible. No animal's teeth and claws had a chance of penetrating my granite skin. So why did I have the sudden urge to turn and run? Why could I feel my power boiling up inside me, struggling for release?
I didn't think about it, I ran. I only made it a few feet before I stopped. I heard more of them behind me. As they got closer, I saw that there were six more of the enormous wolves now circling me, all of them growling and whining nervously. All but the first wolf, who continued to watch me without moving.
I could no longer keep it reigned in. I opened the cage door and felt my power explode out of me in a rush, flying toward the reddish brown wolf.
Nothing happened. Dang it, of course nothing happened. How could it have possibly worked against a wolf? I leaned into a crouch, ready to defend myself. I still didn't understand the instinctive fear coursing through me, but I didn't doubt it either. These creatures would kill me.
Then, from the south, I heard a new sound. Racing footsteps. From the sound of it, there were eight people running like the wind toward me from several miles away. They seemed to be traveling so fast, they would be here in mere seconds. Only vampires ran that fast.
I was surrounded by militant werewolves, and a huge coven of vampires were racing toward me to join the party. In the middle of my journey to find solitude, I had never been less alone in my life.
I could see them now as they stopped in the clearing where I stood. There were eight of them, all beautiful, all of different heights and with different hair colors. But I barely noticed much else about them. I couldn't stop staring at their eyes.
My own eyes were a deep black. It had been so long since I had braved going into a city to feed. I had long since grown accustomed to the vivid red eyes of my fellow vampires. But these eight vampires had deep golden eyes, almost the color of caramel.
My shock at their strange eye color was followed closely by another- as soon as these strange golden-eyed vampires appeared in the clearing, the huge wolves stopped circling me and gathered protectively around the reddish brown wolf. I didn't let down my guard. My black eyes flicked between the two bazaar groups in front of me, trying to determine which was the bigger threat.
Several seconds passed in silence. Then one of the vampires stepped forward. She was tiny, with short spiky black hair. In spite of the terror and confusion of being surrounded by freakishly large wolves and a huge coven of strange vampires, there was room in my mind to feel self-conscious. Short people always made me feel huge.
These troubling thoughts flew completely out of my mind though, as soon as the black-haired female spoke.
"We won't hurt you," she said in a soothing soprano voice. "We've been waiting for you, Mia."