A short story detailing the birth of a Malkavian vampire. Written for a Creative Writing course.
It was cold, so, so cold. Would it ever be warm again?
Valentine was a young promise, an advanced student of Universal Literature at La Sorbonne, where she was working towards her degree. She grew up in a wealthy family, loved and pampered by all who surrounded her. Her father, Aurelien, was a doctor, which caused her to acquire medical knowledge almost by osmosis, and her mother, Camille, was a pianist, a talent she also inherited.
Valentine was, all in all, brilliant.
She was also remarkably beautiful, with long, black hair that fell down her back in soft waves, a pearly complexion with rosy cheeks and the biggest, bluest eyes, luminous and expressive. Dark lashes and eyebrows framed them, and her pouty lips and button nose made her look like a porcelain doll.
And so her life transcurred, with nothing out of the ordinary until one night something out of the ordinary happened. A man, who looked eerily like her father, arrived at her home. When she opened the door and saw her eyes looking back at her, she felt… displaced. She didn’t know that stranger, and when her father blanched and threw himself at the man to hug him, she was confused.
When her mother saw the stranger, a strangled noise was all she let out before fainting. Hurriedly, Aurelien carried Camille towards the Victorian sofa, laying her down, while Valentine got a glass of water for her. The stranger watched the scene with mild interest, while walking around the room and touching the knick-knacks that adorned the De Remy maison.
When Camille came to her senses a few minutes later, she started crying, and said:
– Oh, Alphonse, I thought you had died! But, how are you here? Why…?
– Calm down, dear – he interrupted her -, all in due time. – He turned his gaze towards Valentine, who was sitting next to her mother. – I believe she is the child…?
Aurelien blanched at these words: – She is my daughter, Valentine.
– Is she now? – he smiled, but it didn’t reach his eyes. – How interesting.
The stranger and her father looked at each other for a few minutes, until her father’s demeanor softened. – Yes, brother, she is my daughter – and he turned towards the sofa -. Valentine, dear, this is Alphonse. Your oncle.
She looked at the stranger, Alphonse, with her brow furrowed. – I don’t understand, papa, my oncle? How can he be my uncle? He looks not much older than me!
– Do not question your father, Valentine – her mother whispered, her eyes trained on Alphonse’s face, and her voice, no louder than a murmur, carried out an air of finality. – He told you this man is your uncle, and that is it.
Confused, but restraining her curiosity and the anger that was starting to simmer, she nodded, avoiding the man’s eyes. – Very well – she raised herself up from the sofa, and looking at her feet, she said – I will instruct Phillipa to prepare a room for him.
– Oh, there’s no need, child. I already made… preparations. – He nodded towards her father -. It’s been a real pleasure, brother, sister, I will be sure to visit tomorrow night.
– Oh, yes! – Camille said, the crystal glass half filled with water tumbling down from her hands and spilling its contents all over the carpet, which saved it from breaking – Please, do so, I have missed you very much! – she finished, her voice filled with a fervor that Valentine wasn’t used to hearing.
– Brother, you are welcome to our home whenever you wish to visit. I don’t know what happened, but please, you must return to us – her father pleaded.
The stranger, her oncle, smiled, with that smile that didn’t reach his eyes, and left, his footsteps silent as a cat’s.
She was about to question her parents, but Aurelien shot her with a glare. – That is my brother and I haven’t seen him for 23 years. He disappeared before you were born. I am not going to question his presence and have him walk away from me. I lost him for all these years, I will not do so again.
Aurelien left the room, while Camille, sitting on the sofa again, cried softly, murmuring to herself. Valentine left the room to seek refuge somewhere else. It was clear that
The following night, Alphonse returned to the De Remy maison, and spent several hours with Camille in the greenhouse, while Aurelien kept to his study and Valentine wandered around the house, not knowing what to do. She went to the music room and played the piano, until she felt a presence and spun quickly. There was nobody there. She turned back to the piano, slowly, and picked up her playing, a sad piece, full of melancholy, that she wasn’t sure when she had started playing.
– You play beautifully – Alphonse said from her side. She was startled and stood up quickly, the bench falling with the impulse of her legs. He chuckled. – I wrote that piece, right in this room.
– That’s impossible, I hadn’t even heard it before today. I was just randomly playing.
– Oh? – He said, turning up the piano bench and sitting down, putting his long fingers on the keys, and flawlessly continuing her performance.
She listened to the notes, knowing exactly what he was playing, but completely sure that she hadn’t heard it ever before. She said nothing, and continued listening to the haunting melody.
He finished, looked at her, and left.
He didn’t visit the following night, but she found a book on her pillow when it was time to go to bed. The book was a diary, old, for the look of the pages, and it was marked with a dried lily. She opened the pages to find her mother’s writing.
I am dry inside. I have no more tears. Where are you, my love? I feel like my heart left with you. What happened? How could you leave me here? Did you just use me? Am I nothing more than a toy to you? I don’t know if I wish your death or mine.
Aurelien just visited me. He’s been so sweet through all of this ordeal. I know he cares about me. I just wish I could care the same way.
My blood hasn’t come this month. I don’t know what to do.
I fainted today while walking out with Aurelien. He asked me if I am with child. I couldn’t lie, not to him. We will be married by the end of the month, and spend a long honeymoon in Rennes-Le-Chateau, where his family owns a little villa. That way nobody will ask questions.
She’s here, my beautiful Valentine. The only thing Alphonse left me. I just wish he was the one holding her. But I must not complain. The adoration in Aurelien’s eyes is evident. He will adore this child, our child. We are a family.
Valentine was drowning in her tears. Her whole life was a lie. She wasn’t his father’s daughter, her mother was in love with another man, and the man that was supposedly her uncle, who was actually her father, looked to be no older than 25 years old. It wasn’t that her father… No, her uncle, God she was so confused! It wasn’t that Aurelien looked old, but the man was already 55, and while he looked handsome and healthy, there was a huge difference in the way Aurelien and Alphonse looked.
She ran to her parents bedroom, and found them still awake.
– What is the meaning of this? – she asked, screamed, throwing the diary to her mother – Why did you hide this from me? How could you?
Her mother paled, but it was her f…, Aurelien, who answered – Do not scream to your mother!
– You have no right to tell me what to do, you are not my father! – She yelled back. His face contorted in pain, and when he tried to speak his voice failed. He put his hands on his chest and fell down on his knees, panting.
– Aurelien! – her mother screamed, rushing to his side – What is wrong, my darling? Valentine! Help me carry him to the bed!