My cousin Clara was distraught when she arrived home from working at city hall to the apartment we shared in downtown Bridgeport.
“It’s over Kendra!” she wailed, “I’m never going to make it into congress!”
I looked up from the computer I’d been sat at most of the day, got up and walked over to her encircling her in what I hoped was a comforting hug.
“Calm down cous’ well find a way around whatever it is that you feel is blocking you career-wise.”
Clara isn’t just my cousin, she is also my life long best friend. Leonardo Magna, the Mayor of rural town Twinbrook, is her father. My mother, Lucinda, is one of his younger sisters. Clara is only two years older than me but lately she’d begun to look a little worn around the edges.
“it’s not fair!” she mumbled into my shoulder, “I’m 40, by the time my Dad was my age he was being taken seriously as a politician. I should have stayed in Twinbrook. Moving to the city was the stupidest thing, looks matter here just as much as ideas. My PR team told me the latest polls show that the city thinks I’m too old to be in touch with their needs! Damn bunch of ungrateful yuppies.”
I smiled at her, ever since the age of 35 she had become obsessed with looking younger. She’d had plastic surgery to smooth out her skin and bought every anti-aging cream going. It was extremely neurotic yet completely endearing and fascinating to me.
“Oh come on Clara, you’ve always said those polls are joke, that they never ask a wide enough selection of people. Sit down, I’ll make you some dinner.”
It was then that she switched on me.
“It’s alright for you,” she stormed, “it will be many years before you start to age. You don’t know how good you’ve got it. I’m becoming a dried up old prune and you still look the same as you did at 21!”
Ouch. That hurt. I turned my back on her and walked to my bedroom and slammed the door.
I guess I should have seen this coming. As we grew up I always knew that it might become an issue with friends. You see I really did look the same as I did when I was 21. But it wasn’t my fault. I was born a vampire.
It had never been a problem when I was a child. In fact I barely realised that I was different at all until the night of my 21st birthday. That’s when I developed an intolerance of prolonged exposure to sunlight and developed a taste for blood. There had been a few years of ‘adjustment’ to my condition but now my blood lust was mostly under control and my career as a writer meant I didn’t have to go outside often.
Perhaps naively, I thought it would never become an issue for Clara. We had been inseparable since we were children. There was nothing we didn’t know about each other and there was no one in this world that either of us trusted more.
Now however the differences between us were starting to tear us apart. I hated to see her hurting like this just because of getting older.
It was as I was fretting over what to do to make her feel better that there was a soft tap at my door.
“I’m sorry Kendra, I shouldn’t have lashed out like that. It’s just the older I get the more invisible I feel in public. People don’t look at me the way they used too. I know I’m still a good-looking woman, but I’m no longer young and the population of Bridgeport seems to get younger every year.”
I sighed, I did not want to have this conversation.
“It’s okay Clara, I get it. I just think maybe it’s time that I got my own place. It hard for you to come home and see me looking the way I do. I get that.”
Clara had a strange look in her eyes, like an exciting idea had just appeared in her head. It was then that she asked me the question I dreaded hearing from anyone that I was close to.
“I know how to fix it. I want you to turn me before I get any older.”
It was an impossible request but I had never been able to deny her anything. Growing up I had idolised her. She was pretty, popular and excelled at everything she tried. Now she needed me, I had something that she wanted. The balance of power in our friendship had tipped towards me and it was intoxicating.
I took one last look in her eyes to make sure that she was certain this was what she wanted and then I sank my teeth into her skin and began to drink.
How had it come to this?
Click here to read Chapter 1 and find out!