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|This is a very short story, told from the point of view of a vampire. She explains why she was turned into a vampire. Comments appreciated.||
I am a one-hundred-year-old vampire. My name is Cyrille. Or rather, that was my name when I was mortal. I am still fond of that name, as it reminds me that I was not always how I am now. I have no regrets for what I am now, as there is no conscience in me that is capable of feeling regret. But sometimes I still wish that I was Cyrille again, if only for a moment.
Now I am called Columbia. That is who I am, really. Cyrille died forever when I was born, and no one mourned her passing. But I am writing to you now not to speak of Columbia, but of Cyrille, whether or not she is long since dead. She is the one who most interests me, for if she had not existed exactly as she had, I would not be here. I am writing to you now to give an account of the reasons why I, of all people, was chosen to be made into a vampire. Why Cyrille was chosen to be murdered.
It shall be a short account. I have no patience for pointless details. I wish only to explain what sort of person I was at that time, and what manner of creature is my maker.
First Ill tell you about him, my maker. His name is Laurent; Ive no knowledge about what he was called when he was mortal, or indeed any knowledge at all of his origins. But that is unimportant.
Laurent is a man (if he can be called a man) of habitually strange predilections. Anything that is out of the ordinary attracts him inexorably. Of this he has said only that he lived a life of horrendous monotony and normalcy, and anything that strikes him as a brand of escapism is irresistibly alluring to him. He has a love of the unusual, no matter what it may be films, music, literature, and even people themselves.
He is, however, more complicated than that. He does not only love the bizarre, but he has a powerful need of it. Exactly why he must have these things I do not entirely understand, but I have an idea of it. I believe that he has a morbid obsession with his own self. He is far from egomaniacal, let me say; indeed he is quite selfless and loving, or as much as a vampire can be, anyway. But he is haunted by something. I do not know what it is torments him, but its doubtless there. He has a strange mania when it comes to things that pretend to be something they arent. Actors, for example, who routinely take on personalities that are not their own, and mannequins, who superficially resemble human beings, and dolls and marionettes for the same reason. He has quite a large collection of ugly marionettes, of many varieties. He buys every marionette he sees.
Hell never explain this to me, but I can guess it for myself. It is not so much these hideous dolls he is interested in as the metaphor they represent. They are a symbol for pretense, for manipulation by an unseen force. There is some hidden emotion in him that feels dominated by something he can do nothing about. I believe that he thinks his life is not his own.
That is all that I can gather from his obsessive hoarding of marionettes. Without information about his past I can not truly understand him. I can, as I said, only guess for myself. But something torments him secretly, and what that thing is I have only vague conceptions.
There you have the deepest and most intriguing facet of Laurent. On the surface he is a little different. He is perceivably cautious about what he says and does, as if he were constantly trying to hide something. But he is very warm and gentle, not very much like a vampire at all. He loves me like a daughter, and that is, after all, what I am to him. Or what I used to be when I was Cyrille. He still treats me in the same benign and patronizing manner, which I dont know if I love or hate. The important thing is that his concern is totally for me, and whether or not he is pretending to be someone he isnt, he still loves me completely.
I think he sees me almost in the same way he sees his marionettes. I was fairly young when he made me into a vampire, a pretty and innocent girl, so fragile and so one-dimensional, just like a sweet little doll. Yes, that was me, or rather that was his vision of me: darling, shallow little Cyrille.
I even looked like a doll. I was excessively feminine in both manner and physique. I was not tall. I had short blonde hair, running in golden waves about my porcelain white face, and my eyes were very large and very blue. I was fond of dresses with flaring pink skirts, and little pink doll shoes, and so I was horribly childlike and naïve in appearance. You can imagine me, Im sure: a teenage girl looking like a five-year-old in her princess clothes with her twinkling eyes. Yes, that is exactly how I was.
Pretentious, certainly. But I was not happy-go-lucky. I was not playful or optimistic or even friendly. I seldom smiled. I was a dark child immersed in the folds of bright dresses. Melancholy was my only loyal friend. Where I lived we had a sizable mansion with large green gardens and a pleasant orchard. I loved to sit amongst the flowers and trees, all alone, somehow sad beneath the glare of the sun. I would bide my time in the shadows of the great oak branches, staring down the dirt path that led away from the mansion, and what waited there on the green horizon I did not know.
It was, of course, Laurent who waited there. He was fascinated by the doll girl who was always unhappy and who had no friends. She did not get along with anyone. And there were very few children in the isolated place where she lived, so she would not have had anyone to play with even if shed wanted to. She seemed to exist in and of herself, the personification of gloom, sitting in perfect solitude in her bright pink dress.
That was 1903, in England. I was sixteen years old then. That was the oldest that my physical body would ever be allowed to get, because that was year that Laurent took me and made me into Columbia.
So Cyrille is dead. I have long since ceased to be a doll girl. I have shed all remnants of that life and become something new, something emotionless and monstrous. I do not wear dresses any longer. I wear the clothes of these times: jeans and t-shirts and boots. I am practical.
Laurent does not like that. He wishes that I were the same girl he met a hundred years ago, though of course she is dead and buried and forgotten. I do not really remember her. But shell not come back for anyone, not even dear naïve Laurent.
He is now more of a doll than I ever was. He believes in a fantasy world that can never be. He becomes his marionettes even as he collects them. For there is someone pulling his strings, making him dance and laugh and cry, and I think that someone is his own self.
So for the marionettes I was made into a vampire. For them I live and drink blood and float beneath the midnight sky through an endless stream of shadows, the shadows I have known for all my existence, the shadows into which I was cast eternally a century before.
Dr. Valdemar presents Lydia, Part I
|Zephyrine 7-8||The Warlock 4|