The Taylight Zone - The Vampire Anthology

02 - Resisting Avery - Amerika

On the ride home I was significantly less irritable than I had been on arrival. My contentness would've sickened and distraught my brothers and coworkers had they known its origin. I'd settled myself into the van beside Isaac, secured the seatbelt routinely, and discreetly wiped the remaining crimson from the corners of my mouth.

"That Donna girl was nice," Isaac mused, replacing the word 'hot' with 'nice' for the delicacy of our mother's ears, who was piloting the van.

"Yeah, she seemed cool," Zac nodded absently, his attentions directed out the window and off towards the passing skyline.

I chuckled inwardly, stifling some remark like, "She was a mouthful, wasn't she? A true red-blooded Donna Reed of a girl." I kept my comments to myself, though; it would upset Isaac to know what I'd done with her.

The sweet, dark cover of night never failed to better my spirits. While my family rested, I was active. While the sun slept, I played. I found a certain beauty in it that was unattainable in the garish, screaming glare of the sun. No sunny hell could compare to the pale, pristine wash of moonlight that flooded the world on clear nights. When the stars were not actually wicked little suns churning and blistering billions of miles away, but pinholes of light from a heavenly world that was hidden by the protective mother-quilt of the darkened sky. This was my salvation from the horrors of my everyday life. I liked to be alone.

Because my people *were* very solitary. But not many people know that.

Despite the bitter nature I usually possessed, there was a gentle side in me that would never die. Very few people ever saw that side of me, and those few were my family.

At home, Avery was still up; she couldn't sleep. I asked her if she wanted to come sit out on the porch with me, and she agreed.

This was where I sat to draw, to write, to think, and to moonbathe. This night my space was shared in good company. She didn't ask questions, but nestled into my side like a fawn to a doe, and listened as I pointed out the constellations to her. I knew she was less than interested, but I made my voice soothing and fluid to put her to sleep.

I'd found Ursa Major and was relaying the story when I realized Avie's eyes were closed and her little body weighed gently into me. I smiled, and stroked her hair back. Her face was touched with the faintest shimmer of moonlight, like a rose petal.

A sudden stab at my heart brought to light how good she would taste - a child. I'd only ever taken one child, and the memory of her was set in me as a wonderful, painful sweetness, unparalleled by any adolescent or adult of either gender yet. A child, with her innocence, her purity...

I licked dry lips and carefully tilted Avery's head to the side. I took the sharpened ring from my pocket, slipped it onto my thumb, and drew the claw-tip just faintly across the tender white flesh of her neck. Her blood, red-violet in the moonlight, appeared in a clean, thin line on her milky skin. My breath quickened and my hands trembled at the sight of this nectar, and I ran my tongue over the points of my canines.

I bent my kiss to her neck, and tasted her blood on my lips with an unbearable perfection and sweetness. I should never have taken that first taste...

I withheld the urge to insert my teeth and drink until the ecstasy was gone. I couldn't - she was my baby sister, and I loved her so deeply that neither heaven nor earth could make me do this. I felt the unwelcome sting of tears as I dabbed at her neck with the cuff of my sleeve. She winced and woke with small, muffled whimpers.

"Mmh... where's Mommy?" she asked.

"It's okay, Avie, go back to sleep," I reassured her, cradling her gently.

"Tay? What happened...?"

"Shh, it's okay," I said, trying to keep my voice from quivering. "Go to sleep, baby."

"Take me inside," she requested.

"Anything, angel," I whispered and stood, bracing her on my hip and wrapping my arms around her tightly. "Anything..."

I laid Avery down in her bed by the window, in a pool of opalline moonlight. She nuzzled into her pillow, and I pulled the blankets up to her soft cheek, which I kissed gently. She looked like a doll, her fair blonde hair tousled slightly in wispy strands of spider's web. She was so beautiful; it hurt to think of what I might've done had I not stopped myself.

"Goodnight, angel," I murmured to the cherub.

"G'night," she sighed. With one last caress of her cheek, I left the room.