Vasyl & Julie
The woman ran through the backyard, sobbing, “I don't want to die! I don't want to die!” Her robe flying as she ran barefooted, as though a demon was after her.
Vasyl watched as she ran toward the cornfield and it seemed that her intention was to run right into the tall, green corn. Why she would do this, he wasn't sure. A human could easily get lost in a large field of corn. He knew he had to stop her. She was the only one home to watch over her children.
Spreading his wings, he flapped a few times as he kicked off from the top of the roof of the old farm house. He flew low, as low as he dared, just over her head. His shadow, even in the dark, would be enough to stop her, he reasoned. And it did. She stumbled weakly as he came to a halt several feet before her, watching her fall to her hands and knees.
Turning, he pulled in his wings, making them as small as possible, for they were dark and jagged, and he knew the sight of them might frighten her. She brought her head slowly up, gazing first at his bare feet, and then her eyes rose to take the rest of him in. He was standing there shirtless wearing jeans; the lower half of his body was in shadow, the upper half was in the light from the large light in front of the house. He quite possibly glowed like a beacon. Or—did he dare think it?—an angel?
She gasped. Her attention fully on him. Mesmerizing her was not his intention, and yet he could not help himself. He could see he had startled her, but she didn't seem exactly frightened by his presence. If anything, she was awed by it.
He shook back the lengths of his wavy, black hair and said, “Everyone dies, at some point.” She continued to stare at him. “Why are you worried about dying at such a young age?”
“What? Don't you know? I thought you would, since you're an angel,” she said. It was now obvious she was slightly confused as to who, or what he was. But he wasn't ready to answer the question as to what he was at this time. Better to focus on what had upset her so.
“I thought you were here to answer my prayers.” She'd gotten to her feet, a little unsteadily. She looked terribly distraught, her hair was hanging loosely around her face. Her robe fell open, revealing her nightie. She was barefoot, having lost her slippers at some point.
“It depends upon what it is that you pray for,” he answered carefully.
“To not die,” she said.
“Ever?” he asked.
She twisted her mouth in thought. “That would be nice,” she scoffed.
“This could be arranged,” he said.
She laughed at that. “Right.”
“You doubt me?” He pressed his hands to his bare chest.
“Oh,” she said, swiping the air, making light of their discussion. “Now you're making fun of me.”
“Not at all,” he said trying to remain stoic and yet comforting. “Tell me what makes you think you are dying?”
A hand covered her mouth, while the other arm went around her middle and the sobs came. He waited a little while as she cried some more.
“Please. You need not cry any more.” As he said this, she quit crying.
“I was told by my doctor that I have cancer and that I only have months to live.” Her voice trembled. She was frightened of dying. Human cancers were indeed scary. He nodded his understanding.
“That is a terrible thing for the doctor to tell you. There is no hope?”
“No. He said it is in-operable.”
He nodded. “You have children. A husband. Do they know?”
She shook her head. “I only told my husband. I simply can't tell my children. I just can't!” She sobbed again covering her mouth with her hand, and then settled once more as he placed a hand on her shoulder to comfort her.
“That is alright. They know that you love them. That is what matters. That is all that matters.”
“Oh, yes! I do, I do!”
A silence fell between them for a moment.
“You're here to tell me that God loves me and will take me to be with him when I die?”
“If that is what you wish. But I don't believe that is,” he said. “Is it?”
“I don't want to die,” she gasped again. “Why can't I have life? Why?”
She looked at him, again startled by his words.
“What you ask for is—”
“—Impossible. I know,” she interrupted him, looking away.
“Not impossible,” he said.
Her gaze snapped back to take him in. Hope sparked in her eyes.
“What are you saying?”
“What I am saying is for you to be absolutely certain that is what you want before you ask for it.”
“Because it might come true?” She chuckled at her private joke.
“Yes. It can come true.”
She gave him another startled look. “I-I don't understand. How? You're telling me I don't have to die? Are you able to cure me?”
“No. Not cure. Not in the way you are thinking. But I do have a way.
“What do you mean? If not a cure, what?”
“Eternal life,” he said in a quiet tone.
She stared at him, trying to comprehend.
“But it does not come without a price.”
“No, of course not. What does?”
“Exactly.” He paused and they looked at one another for another moment. “I want you to be certain that you are willing to pay for what I am willing to give you.”
“I see.” He allowed her to think a moment. “What is it that you want?”
“I want the sibyl.”
“Sybil? I don't understand.”
He took a breath and let it out, working on how to word his next statement. “Your daughter. She has special abilities. No?”
“She knows things before they occur. She knows things about people she has no way of knowing, in the normal way. She has a sixth sense, as they say. She is a strong clairvoyant.”
“Yes.” She nodded. “Yes. It's true. We have to keep her away from people and she has to wear gloves to protect her so that she doesn't go into a—” she looked at him then. “How did you know this about my daughter?”
He smiled. “I have been searching for her for a very, very long time. It was my responsibility when I was a priest a very long time ago.”
“You were a priest? Now what are you?”
He sighed deeply. Hands splayed, he said, “I am an undead.”
The woman pulled in a sudden breath, fists to her mouth.
“Vampire, is the modern term.”
“Then, you can bite me and make me immortal?”
“Yes. I can.” Although it wasn't his bite that would turn her. But the specifics would be worked out later.
She took another moment to consider everything that had been said. “What do you want with my daughter?”
“She is very important to, not only me, but the whole world. She must remain undiscovered until she is old enough to understand the responsibilities of being a sibyl. Until then, I will guard over her.”
“Because I'll be undead?”
“Yes. As such, you will not be able to remain here, with your family.”
“There is the danger that you would pose to them as a vampire. You will miss them and want them to be with you. Be like you. That is your sacrifice for becoming immortal, and not dying.”
She thought for a long moment again. “But I won't die from cancer?”
“No. I will make it so that you can never die from any disease.”
“What will happen to my children?”
“What would happen to them if you died?”
That had her thinking again.
“Where will I go, once I become immortal?”
“We will find you suitable lodgings. There are many more of us than you might think there are.” He wanted her to know that she would not be alone. After he turned her, he would have to leave her with those who could take care of her, teach her the ways of being a vampire so as to not become a threat to humans. The rogues were many in this part. He'd had to keep them from finding him and bothering him for fealty, and their need for protection. He so hated the politics. But he knew where she would find safety, shelter, and those who would keep her safe.
"Do you still think you would rather not die, but become a vampire?"
©Lorelei Bell 2012