*This is a character from my “Poppy” series. You can read the other stories under my folder titled “Adventures with Poppy and others.” Gacha Club character designs are on my wall!*
Derek Verosisca stared out the window, watching the tree branches move gently in the cold October wind.
He knew not why he was doing it, only that it felt right. That it was better to stay in the safety of his room than to leave for the outside.
Something odd floated in the air. It didn’t look like a bird nor a leaf.
Derek squinted. The thing floating looked like it was headed directly towards him, but it didn’t look alive.
He opened his window a crack, to see if it would fly inside.
Sure enough, the thing had made it its way to the hardwood floor of his bedroom.
Derek walked up to the crumpled thing and knelt down to get a better look at it.
It was a letter, rolled up into itself. By the precise way it was traveling, a witch had sent it to him. There was only one witch Derek knew in his life and it was his good friend, Chloe Thayer.
Derek opened up the letter, curious as to what she had written. As Queen of the town, she didn’t have time to write letters, even to him, so what on Earth could she have expected of him?
My dearest Derek-
These ruling days have grown quite lonely without you. I miss when we were only children, playing games without abandon.
We are much too old to play such games right now. I request your presence whenever you may be free, so that we can walk together in the woods we once played in.
I miss you so much my heart cannot even contain it.
With full, unconditional love,
Derek dropped the letter, hands shaking. Chloe was his friend, why did she write him a love letter?
Maybe it wasn’t a love letter. Maybe she was just passionate about her feelings for him. Maybe he didn’t have to worry.
Nevertheless, he wouldn’t come. He didn’t want her to get any ideas…
Derek climbed up to Chloe’s window, hanging on the stone walls. Even though she was the Queen, her room was only a few inches from the ground, he could easily climb up them.
It had been three days since he had received the letter. Derek didn’t want to tell his parents about it, because he knew what they would say. He wanted to think on his own, to ponder what would happen.
In the end, Derek decided to come. Chloe was his friend and she didn’t deserve to be ignored. They hadn’t seen each other in a while, so what was the harm in visiting?
Derek waved at Chloe from the window. Chloe grinned, her whole face lighting up. She said something that he couldn’t understand from the closed window.
But seeing the childlike optimism on Chloe’s face was enough to warm his heart.
How could he have even considered not seeing her?
“So why did you write to me?” Derek asked. A few hours had passed since he showed up at Chloe’s window. They were walking in the woods, reminiscing of childhood moments. Many things were spoken about until there was nothing left to say except one thing:
Why did Chloe write to him?
“I need to ask you something.” Chloe said.
She was purposely ignoring his question, but that was okay. If Chloe didn’t want to talk about the letter, he wouldn’t bring it up.
It wasn’t fair to pressure her.
“Yes? What is it?” Derek asked.
“Do you want to be with me? Do you want to be together?” Chloe asked. There was longing in her eyes, wanting in her eyes.
It was just what he feared. Chloe had written him a love letter.
“I love you, Derek. I always have. It’s been the two of us for all these years. You and I, we complete each other. I’m certain of it.”
He didn’t want to break her heart, but he couldn’t lie to her, either.
“Do you want to be with me?” Chloe repeated.
Derek rubbed the back of his neck and sighed. He might as well just say what he felt.
“Chloe…you’re my friend. A sister to me. I apologize that I am unable to share your affections, but tis’ the truth.” Derek said.
Her eyes darkened, her posture stiffened. She took on the rigid exterior she had to take on for the public.
“Chloe? Are you alright?” Derek asked.
Her eyes were so…so dead. Her hands twitched as though possessed by an evil spirit.
Foam formed into Derek’s eyes. It burned, it felt like his eyes were melting.
Chloe’s lips were moving fast, too fast for him to understand. He wanted to cry, but the poison in his eyes wouldn’t let him.
It was her. She was trying to kill him.
Like the vile, chilled fingers of death, the poison traveled throughout his body, bringing static to his bones.
Derek fell to the grass, as helpless as an ant to a magnifying glass.
“W…why?” He croaked.
“Because I’m a monster and you’re my humanity. I need you.” Chloe said, crying.
He didn’t mean to make her cry, he just didn’t love her that way. Did he say it in the wrong way? Did he destroy her? Was he terribly cruel?
If that was the case, then Derek was deeply sorry. He never meant to hurt her.
Derek and Chloe were small children, running in the woods together. They were only a young noble and a Princess, with great admiration from the townspeople, but no trying responsibilities.
Derek looked back at Agnes, the servant. She was the same age as them. Why didn’t she play?
“What are you doing? Join me!” Chloe shouted.
Derek turned around, running towards Chloe. Agnes was clearing the table.
She didn’t see him.
She didn’t care.
Derek didn’t feel any pain. His bones were all fixed, there was no poison froth in his eyes.
All around him were the softest wildflowers, reaching up to a glimmering blue sky, sparkling with the iridescence of the sun’s rays.
Is this what Heaven feels like? Derek thought to himself.
He exhaled. It must so. The air was clear, there was no one else except the chirping birds.
He was free. No more worries, no more responsibilities. Just an infinite field of wildflowers and the birds singing their sweet songs.
Suddenly, vines snaked around his waist, thorns pushing into his chest.
What was happening? Why were there vines encircling his body?
Derek screamed, but no one heard him.
He was pulled into the rough, brown dirt.
Derek blinked his eyes open. Was he dead a few minutes ago? Well, thank goodness he was alive! He was so hungry.
A young girl with glistening skin sat in front of him. He was lying on a bed, in a room with an astronomy tapestry on the ceiling. The girl had red, thick blood underneath her skin.
Derek reached out and pulled the girl close. Her blood smelled like the most decadent chocolate, like cream made to complete perfection. For chocolate was only cinnamon cream.
Derek bit into her neck. After spending those minutes in the field, he could really, really use a drink. His body was an empty cadaver, longing to be filled with life, with energy.
Wait. He was dead. White poison froth had overtaken body, a girl stood over him, the very same girl he was drinking blood from. She wanted to be with him, he said no. She was…
Derek pulled back, blood still on his mouth. Shock came upon Chloe’s eyes.
He was supposed to be dead, yet he wasn’t.
“What…happened to me? What am I?” Derek asked. He wasn’t human, for he drank a bit of her blood.
Was he a demon?
“You’re a vampire now.” Chloe said.
Perhaps not a demon, but still a child of demons! Derek had only heard of vampires from stories his parents told, stories of those Unholy.
“A…a vampire?” Derek asked.
His rotten, revolting heart beat with crashing fears. How he was supposed to take the light out of someone’s eyes? To drink their blood as their bodies flailed in his arms? He couldn’t go back to his parents, he was a monster.
He would have to hide. He would never see the beautiful, human faces that surrounded him every day. He’d only come out to kill.
Derek swallowed back the vomit that was forming in his throat. He didn’t want to lose himself right then and there.
“Yes, but don’t be scared. We’re both creatures of the night. I a witch, you a vampire. We can live in the shadows together. It’s alright.” Chloe said.
Alright? Alright? Derek was alive when he was supposed to be dead. He was in Heaven, in a field of wildflowers with lively birds. The humans were in Earth, awaiting their turn to be in the wildflower field.
But Derek would never see the flowers again. He would never join the humans in Heaven. His family would die and he would live.
He’d never hug his parents again, never talk to his parents again, never hear their voices again.
“I…I need to go!” He cried out. Tears formed in his eyes, but he could not, would not, let Chloe see him vulnerable .
“What…what do you mean? What are you saying?” Chloe asked.
Why was she crying? She wasn’t the one who had to steal blood to survive.
Derek walked up to the window, the very same one he used to visit her only hours earlier.
Was it really only hours? It felt like a hundred centuries.
“I’m saying goodbye.” Derek said.
He opened the window and jumped, not pausing to look back.
He had to leave. He had to think.