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Dhampir's chapter 1

by thecatonthemoon


The darkness acted like a cloak, hiding the woman from view as she walked silently through the darkened forest. Only her sharpened senses stopped her from stumbling her way through the forest to the meeting place. She padded silently into the clearing, the decided upon meeting place, unsurprised to find she was the last to arrive. The light from the full moon cast an eery glow on the clearing, illuminating the eleven other pale faced individuals. 

"How nice of you to join us Lydia" Alexander Craven drawled out. Lydia didn't so much as offer the older grey haired man a second glance. 

"Oh leave it Alexander. We have much more pressing matters to discuss" Lydia's eyes flickered to the woman that stood meters to Alexander's right. She stood tall, her blonde hair pinned back allowing for a clearer view of her face. She had obviously been pretty at one point, but the years had not been as kind to her as they had been to the others. 

"You are right Florence" Lydia bowed her head in shame, because she was right. The twelve vampire royals. The head of their houses never met all at once. It was just too dangerous. They had risked everything by coming here. But they had everything to lose if they didn't. Lydia De Clare looked around herself at the representatives of each family. Most of which were only vaguely familiar to her. Alexander Craven stood on the opposite side of the clearing to Lydia, he was the unspoken leader in this moment. His name itself was enough to send most people running int he opposite direction. His reputation proceeded him. Florence Caldwell was another near that struck fear into people's hearts.. Her cool demeanor and calculated looks accompanied by her sharp tongue and disapproving tone were enough to send any one running for the hills. In complete contrast, the small, plump man that could be no one else but Ernest Laval looked too much like a kindly grandfather to scare anyone. 

Kaden Nordskov, whose appearance was still youthful despite being close to fifty, an age where most human's were at least beginning to grey. But as a vampire, he was still considered an inexperienced child. He had been a hasty replacement after the death of his grandfather. 

The O'Callaghan twin was, much like the Nordskov heir, still young. Something that had very little place in a group dominated by older generations. The signature red hair and green eyes of the O'Callaghan family only served to further set her apart from the other heirs. The rest of which were older, more experienced vampires. A polite was of saying they were stuck up bastards that only cared about themelves. 

Despite how long she had served as heir to the De Clare family. She still could not tell the heir of the Paulet family from the heir of the Musgrave family. One was a bald gentleman with stern pointed features that were always set in a frown. The other was a tall gentleman who fixed the entire clearing with a glare that sent shivers down Lydia's spine. 

The Calthorpe heir was the final of the four woman in the clearing. Her almond eyes stared around the clearing, her expression set in one of boredom. Nadir Bielke, a thin small man stood beside her. He used his common appearance and forgettable features to his advantage most of the time, and now could be found standing half in the shadows. Watching the other heirs closely as if waiting on them attacking. The De Montagu heir stood away from the other. He'd mastered a blank look that masked his emotions entirely. His grey eyes looked almost dead,, something that made Lydia quickly look away to the next person in the clearing. 

William Falsen was the only one who offered her a flicker of a smile. His lips tugged up into a half smile that never quite reached his silver eyes. The Falsen's and the De Clare's had been friends for centuries. He was merely keeping up traditions. Lydia offered a formal nod in his direction as a sign of acknowledgment. Instantly the smile he'd worked to make appear disappeared, and he returned his expression to the serious one he'd worn only moments before. 

"I trust we all know why we are here?" Alexander asked, sending Lydia a pointed look. One she chose to ignore, instead joining the others in a stiff nod of agreement. 

"The brotherhood have resurfaced" Alexander informed them anyway. "Just as the prophecy said they would. The same prophecy that promised a saviour for us. Someone capable of defeating these monsters"

"Are we any further forward in finding this saviour?" Lydia spoke up, much to Alexander's obvious annoyance. 

"No" Florence replied cooly "And our clues remain the same. Mysterious and confusing"

"So what do we do?" It was the O'Callaghan heir that spoke up.

"We wait" Alexander responded "We continue with our lives, starting with the choosing ceremony tomorrow. And we trust the saviour will come forward when they are needed."

Present time

It was four hours till sunset when the doors to the grey concrete building opened, allowing the trail of smartly dressed teenage dhampir's to step out of the building and onto the deserted street. They walked without a word to anyone around them, a mix between a solemn and an excited expression on each of their faced. The girl that trailed along at the back however, didn't share the same look as her peer's did. Her long red hair was curled and expertly pinned to the top of her head in an elegant updo, her maroon chiffon dress clung to her hourglass figure, framing her figure perfectly. But the most noticeable thing about her was her  face. Or rather the expression she wore. Her face had contorted into a scowl, her piercing grey eyes glaring at anyone who got too close. She glared at the blonde boy as he slipped back to walk beside her. 

Noah merely laughed at her glare, he'd grown use to her strange attitude and bold front.

"Cheer up Bailey" He grinned at the closest person he had to family, his eyes glinting with the same mischief they always held. 

"Easy for you to say" She scowled at him, folding her arms as she spoke. "You aren't the one that has a life of being used and abused looming before you."

"Well that's one way to put being a feeder" He admitted, letting a laugh escape from him as he draped an arm over her shoulders.

"That's the only way to put it" She deadpanned, shrugging his arm off her shoulders. She didn't want to be comforted, not when she knew what was coming for her.

"There's still a chance you won't become a feeder" He pointed out

Bailey let out a snort of laughter. "Please. 99.9 percent of all female dhampir's become feeders"

"What about the other 0.1%" He asked raising an eyebrow at her. 

She folded her arms again as a dark smirk crossed onto her face. "They kill themselves before they can become a feeder." 

His grin faded slightly before he rolled his eyes at her, his mood soured "Such a delight to be around as always Bailey" 

His voice held the same joky tone it always did, but she knew her slightly harsh comment had scared him. She let loose a tired sigh, letting her arms fall to her side and her scowl drop. 

"Still hoping for a protector job?" She asked, more to break the silence than because she needed to hear his answer. She already knew his answer. 

Sure enough, he raised an eyebrow at her as if asking if she really needed to ask. She gave a challenging look in return.

"Of course" He responded "It beats sitting at a desk all day" Bailey nodded, managing to keep a smile on her face. But she'd give anything for that to be an option for her. Male dhampirs hade limited options, it was true. Dhampir's were limited in all their choices. Male dhampir's could be protectors, medics, administrators or yes feeders. There were no other options. But they were options all the same. Female dhampir's. Well female dhampir's were only ever chosen to be feeders. 

The pair lapsed into the same silence that those around them held, as finally they rounded the corner and the building came into view.

Of course. She'd seen the building from miles back. It wasn't as if you could miss the monsrosety they called a government building. It was massive. It towered over everything, including the buildings surrounding it. It was made almost entirely of black material, making it much darker than the buildings around it. It was probably a tactic to scare people out of going against the government. Well it worked, Bailey was terrified as she stared at the building. And as they entered, she couldn't help but feel like they were entering the belly of the beast. 

The first thing that hit her as they entered the lobby of the building was the noise. The overwhelming sounds that were only amplified by her enhanced hearing. By the looks on the faces around her. They were struggling to adapt too. By the time she'd adjusted, the group had made their way to the opposite side of the room, an advantage point if she'd ever seen one. She watched her surroundings carefully, identifying dhampir's and vampires alike. The vampire's were here only to find out what their future prospects were to be like. She felt her glare return as she caught sight of a vampire, who appeared to be in his early twenty's, watching her closely. And not being subtle about it. She had to admit, he was rather cute. But that was beside the point. He merely smirked as she glared at him, her whole body tensing up.

"Hey" She felt a hand placed reassuring on her shoulder and looked up to find Noah watching her carefully, she knew he'd seen the vampire. She nodded, getting his silent warning. She forced herself to loosen up. And just in time it seemed.

She looked round as a grey haired woman entered, her hair pinned tightly up in a bun that seemed to pull her face up with it. 

"If you'd come with me please" She snapped irritably. As if she wanted to be doing anything apart from this. Bailey cast one last look at Noah before she followed quietly behind the woman.

They were led quickly down corridor after corridor, until they stopped outside a set of massive double doors. 

"Female's to the right, males to the left" She informed them before she pushed open the door and entered. 

Unlike when she'd entered the lobby, the meeting room of the council was silent. Bailey kept her head down as she entered, splitting off to the right as she'd been instructed and stopping in her place at the B's. For a while, no one said anything, allowing for the rest of the dhampir's to file in. 

Only then did the grey haired man rise to his feet, his presence alone commanded silence. 

"Welcome" Alexander Craven said in a tone that said he really wasn't happy they were here "As you know. Today is the day you're future's will be decided. It has been a tradition that has been continued since you're race began. And today, we plan to continue that tradition. You will each step forward and allow our seer to peer into your future. Only then will she determine what your future holds. If the male's would kindly step forward. We will begin with you"

And without another word, the ceremony began. Bailey was too far back to really look at the seer. And honestly she wasn't sure she wanted to see the woman who'd condemn her to her fate. 

The ceremony moved quickly. Quicker than she expected, it might have had something to do with the amount of escape routes she tried to find before the seer reached her. Of which there were twenty Only three of which allowed her to get out without getting seen. And twelve of which involved things that were only really semi legal. She tuned in quick enough to find Noah had been given a protector's job, and someone named Scott had been given an admin job. By which point it was already too late to put any of the escape plans into action because it was their turn. 

As one they moved forward, each holding a grim expression as they came under the scrutiny of the council of vampires and guests. Bailey gritted her teeth, keeping her head low as the seer moved along the line. Naming person after person as a feeder. She felt the person on her left move away to join the other feeders and Bailey saw a pair of black flats stop in front of her. 

She had to force herself to look up. Bit by bit she did,  taking in the woman's ceremonial dress until she stopped at her withered face. She was surprised by how kind the vampire appeared. Her brown eyes were soft and caring. And did she see a little pity in them? Yes. 

"You're hand Miss Attwood?" The seer asked, a forced smile on her face. Bailey did her best to glare at the woman as she rested her hand in hers.

The seer was silent, the only change being the blank look and glazed over eyes that overtook her features.  When the seer returned she looked sad. Bailey yanked her hand out of the woman's grasp.

"Let me guess?" She hissed lowly, her temper rising up "Feeder"  

She didn't wait for the seer to speak, she began to walk across to the feeders. 

"Protector" The seer's voice rang out, halting Bailey in her steps. She half turned to face the seer, surprise evident on her face. "You're to be a protector"


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127 Reviews


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Sun Jan 29, 2017 5:26 pm
Stormcloud wrote a review...



Hi, thecatonthemoon! Storm's here to do a review. So let's jump right into it.

So you started out with a prologue thing. Prologues should usually be avoided unless absolutely necessary. I did not need the information about the prophecy. Why can't we just find out about the prophecy naturally rather than just outright telling us that there's a prophecy? Also, the prophecy is a very tired plot device. If there is any way at all to avoid it, I definitely would.

She still could not tell the heir of the Paulet family from the heir of the Musgrave family. One was a bald gentleman with stern pointed features that were always set in a frown. The other was a tall gentleman who fixed the entire clearing with a glare that sent shivers down Lydia's spine.

If Lydia couldn't tell the difference between the two men, then why is she differentiating them?

Later, you describe Bailey as being beautiful. There's nothing wrong with writing a beautiful character, but what's the point? There seems to be very little reason in making her beautiful.

Also, Bailey seems more angry than scared about the fact that she's going to become a feeder. Shouldn't she be more afraid of her fate?

His voice held the same joky tone it always did, but she knew her slightly harsh comment had scared him. She let loose a tired sigh, letting her arms fall to her side and her scowl drop.


You do an awful lot of telling us how they feel rather than using your characters' actions to show us.

"Of course" He responded "It beats sitting at a desk all day" Bailey nodded, managing to keep a smile on her face. But she'd give anything for that to be an option for her. Male dhampirs hade limited options, it was true. Dhampir's were limited in all their choices. Male dhampir's could be protectors, medics, administrators or yes feeders. There were no other options. But they were options all the same. Female dhampir's. Well female dhampir's were only ever chosen to be feeders.


Wow, that's a lot of information that does not seem necessary. Try to space out the information you're giving us, otherwise you end up with unattractive info dumps.

You describe the building very blandly, but I won't get into that because Zoom already has. My question is: how is a building a scare tactic? It's just sort of strange that you wrote that.

Also, why does it constantly mention their powers? If it's normal for them to have enhanced senses then why call them powers? It's just their senses.

Where are the humans? How can dhampirs exist without humans?

Overall, this story was okay. I think that it could be a lot better, it just needs some more work. I hope this review helped. If you have any questions feel free to ask in a reply or to pm me.




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Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:17 pm
Gravity says...



ARE YOU A VAMPIRE ACADEMY FAN, TOO??????

Oh, and my first name is Lydia. So that made me fangirl so hard.




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Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:15 pm
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Zoom wrote a review...



The darkness acted like a cloak, hiding the woman from view as she walked silently through the darkened forest. Only her sharpened senses stopped her from stumbling her way through the forest to the meeting place. She padded silently into the clearing, the decided upon meeting place, unsurprised to find she was the last to arrive. The light from the full moon cast an eery glow on the clearing, illuminating the eleven other pale faced individuals.


I think the word choices here are bit tedious / repetitive. For example, in the first line you used “darkness” and “darkened”. We already established the scene is dark, so what else can you tell us about the forest instead? It’s already difficult enough setting up a scene at the beginning, because your reader starts off with no information. Therefore each word you use should be very carefully considered. Information is so valuable right off the bat.

Then in the next line, you say “sharpened senses stopped her from stumbling” – that’s a lot of alliteration, and it becomes almost like a tongue twister.

Another example is that you used “silently” and “meeting place” twice, which really sticks out when reading this. I highly suggest to read your work out loud to yourself, or use text-to-speech software. Trust me, the things I have pointed out will stand out much more to you, and help you fix your writing so it sounds more natural.

"How nice of you to join us Lydia" Alexander Craven drawled out. Lydia didn't so much as offer the older grey haired man a second glance.


I’m not sure about the word “drawled” here – maybe if I knew more about the character I would have appreciated it more, I just didn’t understand how the dialog was supposed to be read.

"How nice of you to join us Lydia

Oh leave it Alexander.

"You are right Florence"


In three consecutive lines of dialog somebody names the person they are speaking to, seemingly out of convenience to the reader. People rarely use someone’s name in speech like this, and whenever I read names in dialog at the start of a story I automatically assume the writer added them so we would learn a character’s name faster. Also, there are already too many characters. I skimmed on and saw that there will be more. Again, the trouble with this is that we start off the story with no information and suddenly feel bombarded with introductions. Maybe that’s just me, some people seem to be able to dive into stories and keep characters straight in their head, but I struggle with it a lot, and normally put the book down.

"Lydia De Clare looked around herself at the representatives of each family.


No need to say “Around herself”, really. In fact I see this “issue” (I’m quoting the word issue because it’s not exactly wrong, per se, more a stylistic choice) throughout this story. I suggest to play around with your writing by seeing how many words you can delete without losing meaning to the sentence.

"Most of which were only vaguely familiar to her.


Like this, you could remove “to her”. Just another example, to make my point clear.

Alexander Craven stood on the opposite side of the clearing to Lydia, he was the unspoken leader in this moment.


What do you mean unspoken leader? They haven’t decided who the leader of this group of 12 people is? Florence just snubbed him for making a “you’re late” comment about Lydia, that gave me much more of a submissive impression of him . . . Is he the leader just because he is the oldest? Idk, it really puzzled me that there’s no leader and they just all collectively decided to gather.

"to fifty, an age where most human's were at least beginning to grey.


Most humans begin to grey waaay sooner than this, and it didn’t offer much to your description anyway.

"He used his common appearance and forgettable features to his advantage most of the time


I have no idea how somebody goes about doing this?

much to Alexander's obvious annoyance.


This is telling not showing – remember we don’t know Alexander yet. Everyone acts differently when they are annoyed, how does he?

"It was four hours till sunset when the doors to the grey concrete building opened,
"

This description offered very little.

""Cheer up Bailey" He grinned at the closest person he had to family, his eyes glinting with the same mischief they always held.
"

The “closest person” exposition feels very slipped in, here. Consider finding a way to weave this naturally into the story without telling us so directly what their relationship is.

"She folded her arms again as a dark smirk crossed onto her face. "They kill themselves before they can become a feeder."


This line would have been a lot more dramatic if you ended it with “they kill themselves”. This also goes back to the previous point I made about cuttings words that aren’t needed.

"It towered over everything, including the buildings surrounding it.


I’m wondering what the “everything” is

"She had to admit, he was rather cute.


Everyone has their own definition of what cute is. I know what cute means to me but not to her.

"And without another word, the ceremony began. Bailey was too far back to really look at the seer. And honestly she wasn't sure she wanted to see the woman who'd condemn her to her fate.


Wait why is she strolling in there to begin with if she feels she will be condemned? I’m very confused by the motivations here, or I might be missing information vital to the premise, or skipped something by accident.

"it might have had something to do with the amount of escape routes she tried to find before the seer reached her.


At this point I was convinced they had been taken to this building by force, and re-read the parts leading up to here. There needs to be some clarity of how they are being forced to go into this building.

""Protector" The seer's voice rang out, halting Bailey in her steps. She half turned to face the seer, surprise evident on her face. "You're to be a protector"


Honestly, you foreshadowed way too much that she wasn’t going to be a feeder. I was absolutely convinced that there was no way this girl was walking out of there as a feeder. On top of this being so easy to predict, I don’t understand the significance of being a protector and so this part wasn’t as dramatic as I felt you wanted it to be.

***

Final comments:

1) A lot of your descriptions were basic in that they didn't offer much more compared to what your readers' imaginations could cook up in two seconds. A good example of this was the grey concrete building, it was a very generic description. If you had just said "building" I wouldn't have been left with much of a different image. I suggest to really slow down when you are describing a new character / environment. Your writing style is fast paced with brief descriptions (which is similar to my own style, I don't describe anything longer than two sentences). The problem is, if you are going to use a small amount of words to describe something, make them count.

2) I didn't really enjoy the prologue-esque beginning of this story. I think it's because I have read a lot of prologues before that involve a prophecy and a savior and people meeting to mention vague things that will later make sense. I also don't enjoy the vampire premise/genre at all, which is how I normally feel about anything that gains global popularity.

3) The exchange between Bailey and Noah at the beginning of the "present time" part was the best part about this story. I feel like you did much much better when there were just two characters, and the dialog was a lot more natural.

Zoom





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