The Art of Dying

By Alice Oddkid All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Romance

So That’s Why…

Two hours. I’ve been in here, finding nothing useful, wasting my time for a little over two hours! It was frustrating and so with a resigned sigh, I left. School is going to be over soon anyway and C.C. said that she’ll finish answering any of my questions then. Grabbing my MP3 again, I resumed my ‘Avenge Sevenfold’ listening as I went back to my dorm, where I’ll wait for C.C.

Once I was back in my dorm, I placed my notepad on my bedside table then crashed head first on my bed. I kicked off my shoes, letting them fall where they may before I rolled over and stared at the ceiling. C.C.’s words from the first time I met her ─before her date with Oliver─ came back to me, something about; that if I was ever bored or whatever, I could use the paint cans in the wardrobe and paint the walls or something. Looking at the plain white ceiling, I thought: ‘hey, why not?’

Ugh, but that means I have to get up. Ok, on, one, two, three… With great effort, ─because I’m a lazy bum─ I sat up and stood up before going to look through the various paint cans littering the floor of the wardrobe C.C. and I share.

But first I put my MP3 player on top of the black dresser, connected it to a speaker and put on some ‘Lights’. Then, I rummaged through the many paint cans and selected some, a sapphire blue, bubble gum pink, lavender, black, etc and put them on the floor beside my bed. I then tossed the covers of my bed away along with my pillows on the floor in front of the wardrobe, ─don’t want any paint to get on them─ then I opened the widow and grabbed my purple checkered scarf and wrapped it around my head, to use as a gas mask and filter the toxic mist the paint is sure to create.

I then stood on my bed and got to work while singing off-key ‘Lights’s’ songs. I used the sapphire blue, light pink and lavender for the background first then I grabbed the black and started to make several leafless trees with black grass. Once that was done I grabbed the white can and dead center of my work, I began spray-painting the outline of a big skull.

C.C. walked in just as I grabbed the black paint to do the bottomless eye sockets of the skull. “Oh, I like this.” C.C. said as she danced to the music, into the room. “Who is that?”

“‘Lights’.” I replied distractedly.

“Oooh, you’re painting. That’s nice. Need any help?” She asked as she observed my creation.

“Yeah, sure.” I answered. She picked up two respirators from a bag in the closet ─one was black and blue, the other was black and purple.

“Here, wear this instead, it’s better for the fumes” She said as she passed me the purple one.

“Thanks.” She gave me a smile before putting it on and grabbing another can of black paint before attacking the right eye socket of the skull. I put on my respirator and attacked the left one.

After about an hour, we finished the painting and laid down on my bed to stare at it. “Do you have any other questions about our world and stuff?” C.C. asked me, relaxed. I sat up and grabbed my notepad from my bedside table. I then passed it to her before lying down again. She read all the questions and at some of them she chuckled. “Ok, well, I don’t know what you are yet but Oliver thinks you might be a ‘Morpheleon’ or at least you could be part ‘Morpheleon’ which would explain your resemblance to your mother despite the fact that you aren’t related. As for, if everyone here, at school, is from ‘Ellithia’? The answer would be no. Only about 2/3 of the people here including the staff are from ‘Ellithia’, well approximately.” I laughed. “Um, the number of species? Well, I couldn’t give you an exact number, but you know of myths and legends and stuff well they were based off of ‘Ellithien’ people, so like all the things, mermaids, fairies, genies, vampires, and all that, it’s all real but there’s also so much more, so yeah.” Wow, that’s interesting, if not even a little scary. “Um, yeah unicorns are real.” She said with a small laugh. “Along with dragons and ‘Belladonna’ the phoenix, we gave ‘Belladonna’ a name since there is only one phoenix in both of our worlds combined.” Must be lonely. “And as for the number of creatures, it’s the same as with the number of species, all you’ve ever heard is probably real, at least in some way and much more. Ah, Oliver.” Her tone of voice suddenly became dreamy. “Well, he couldn’t possibly walk around in his true form without people noticing he’s not human, now, could he?”

“Yeah, but how?” I asked.

“His pocket watch is enchanted. His mother got it for him in ‘Derondon’, that’s like, you could say our London. It’s very common for people coming from ‘Ellithia’ to have an enchanted object who alters either slightly or drastically their appearance, so that they can live here, in this world, normally, looking like every other human.”

“Do you have one?” I asked her.

“An enchanted object? No. I don’t need one.” After a slight pause she elaborated. “The only physical difference angels of death have that humans don’t, are wings. But I have to summon them…” I turned my head and looked at her confused. “Ok, it’s like they’re always hidden but I can get them out at any second if I wanted to.” She suddenly sat up and turned to face me. “It’ll be better if I just show you.”

All of a sudden, two massive shiny, black wings unfurled from her back. They were gigantic with slight highlights of green and blue, reminiscent of ‘Cayuga’ ducks. “Wow! They’re gorgeous.” I said, in awe over their beauty, as I sat up to get a closer look. She gave a small giggle.

“Go ahead; you can touch them if you want.” She said with mirth in her voice. I hesitantly approached my hand and gently stroked the feathers of her wings. They were soft and silky to the touch. C.C. started laughing as soon as my fingers touched them. “That tickles.” I immediately dropped my hand. Then as fast as they have appeared, they were gone.

“That was awesome. Thanks for showing me.”

“You’re welcome. And as for your last question, I think you should ask Blake since it’s really none of my business.”

“Alright.” I answered falling back, from my sitting position, down on the bed, making a mental note to ask Blake and Zane about why Zane’s not very liked, to get both sides of the story. Just then there was a knock on the door.

“That’ll be Nina. We’re planning ‘Mertell’ together.” She stood and went to answer the door. “So I apologize in advance if I won’t be able to spend as much time with you as before but, it’s like, the party of the year. You know?” And with that, she flung the door open. I, again, sat up. “Hey Nina, come in.” Nina walked in. She was dressed in white jeans, a peach colored blouse and chunky gold accessories adorned her wrists and ears.

“Hi, Del.” I looked at Nina in astonishment. Did she just talk to me in my head? “Yes, I’m speaking to your thoughts.”

“Wow, that’s, that’s just, wow.” I was at a lost for words. I mean despite the fact that I just saw C.C.’s wings, prior to that I saw Oliver in his true form and even before that, I saw a girl being attacked by a vampire, this whole mind-speaking thing coming from a mute girl just brought my degree of stupefaction to a whole new level. Since she’s a genie; I wonder if she can float like the one in ‘Aladdin’. A smirk graced her feature.

“Yes, I can. And you’ll see… Soon.” She replied, sounding all mysterious in my mind.

“Um… Ok?” She gave me a bright smile then turned to C.C.

“We’ll were gonna go. You can come with us if you want, but I’d really like for it to be a surprise. You know, your first ‘Mertell’, that’s going to be memorable but it would be even better if you didn’t know anything beforehand.” She looked at me pleadingly.

“It’s ok, I’ll just hang out here.” She looked at me with a sad expression on her face, like one would look at a dejected little puppy.

“You could always go hang out with Oliver.” She gave me a hopeful grin. Yeah, um, me hang out alone with Oliver… I don’t think so.

“Uh, yeah, um… I think I have some homeworks to catch up on. You know? Since I was absent and all that…So I really think I should stay here.” She gave me a resigned look.

“Alright.” She said with a sigh. “We’re gonna go, but, try to have fun.”

“Yeah, ok, thanks.” I said. “Bye girls.”

“Bye.” C.C. said at the same time that: “Bye.” Resounded in my head, before they headed out the door. Ok, now, what to do? I don’t really have any homeworks since I didn’t go to class to get them. So now how do I occupy myself? I then remembered that, earlier at the library, I forgot to look for an interesting novel to read. Damn, well I’ll stop by tomorrow maybe, but that does not solve my little dilemma of what to do.

Standing, I went to change the song that was on, to some ‘Ghost Town’ and turned the volume up before, again, crashing down on my bed. I stared at my painting as I listened to the bewitching voice coming from the speaker as thoughts began swarming my mind.

I wonder what Blake’s true form is. I hope it’s something hideous, that way it’ll be easier to get over my silly little crush. And what about that little Asian girl? Is she alright? What are they going to tell her parents? And why does everyone seem to hate Zane? Well, not hate exactly ─except for C.C.─ but more like, really dislike. What’s up with that?

Another knock sounded at the door. I wonder who that could be? I stood, went to answer the door and speaking of the devil, ─ actually more like thinking of it, anyway─ Zane stood on the other side of the door. “So, are you scared of me now?” He asked lazily, leaning against the door frame.

“Do you plan on having me for dinner?” I asked, looking at him suspiciously. He laughed warmly.

“Are you offering?” He replied suggestively as he leaned closer to me.

“No!” I hastily replied. He then leaned back with an exaggerated pout.

“Then I guess I won’t have you for dinner.” He said sulkily.

“Well, in that case. No, I’m not scared of you.” He gave me a crooked smirk.

“Great! So you wouldn’t mind accompanying me to dinner then, would you?” He asked, offering me his arm.

“But you don’t ever eat…” I said a little confused

“Yeah, that’s true.” He said off-handedly. “But you do…”

“Alright, just let me grab my things.” I said as I left the door wide open. He joined me on my bed as I put on my ‘Converse’ shoes, I then stood to turn off my MP3 and grab my cafeteria card. “Ok, let’s go.” He stood and we set off towards the cafeteria, talking about trivial things on the way.

Once we were comfortably sat outside, in the garden/terrace, me with a tray of spaghetti and a bottle of water while Zane had nothing ─being a vampire and all─ it was time to ask the important questions.

“So, what do you eat? You don’t kill people do you?” I asked him. “Is there some sort of synthetic blood for vampires made in ‘Ellithia’ or… do you drink from animals or…?”

“Oh, I drink human blood. Human’s or ‘Ellithien’s’, it doesn’t matter.” He replied with a grin that showcased all of his teeth, but not his fangs. “Don’t worry they don’t feel it. And the humans forget it almost as soon as it’s over, but just the biting part, that’s why I couldn’t just bite you the other day to make you forget what you saw. And anyway even if I did bite you it wouldn’t have worked.” Oh, makes sense. At least he doesn’t kill his ‘food’ sources. That made me remember Chris and the little Asian girl.

“And is the little Asian girl all right?”

“Yeah, Jade is adapting very well to her new life.” He said disinterested. So her name is Jade… Interesting... “But what about you…?” He said mischievously.

“Fine, weirdly enough I’m fine.” He raised an eyebrow at that, forcing me to elaborate. “Well, I’ve always known there was something wrong with me. So, be being an ‘Ellithien’ actually explains a lot of things.” He put his elbow on the table and rested his head in the palm of his hand, as he looked at me, intrigued.

“Oh? How come?” I remembered Antoine and Guillaume as my hand went unconsciously to their charms on my necklace.

“I killed two guys by kissing them.” I confessed looking at my almost empty plate of spaghetti, losing my appetite. He gave a small wince.

“I’m sorry.” I looked up and saw his apologetic face.

“It’s alright. It sucks but hey, that’s life.” I said mock-cheerfully.

“Yeah.” He said softly. After a beat, I changed the subject.

“So, what are you going to tell Jade’s parents?” I asked, changing the subject.

“We’ll wait until the winter vacation and then she’ll catch an incurable disease of some sort, that’ll ‘kill’ her.” He said ‘kill’ making air quotation. “Then an ‘Ellithien’ doctor will declare her dead, that way she’ll avoid an autopsy. She’ll be buried, Chris will dig her back up and then they’ll both move to ‘Ellithia’ for at least a couple of years.”

“Oh, ok.” I said. “So, what’s up with you…─”

“Hey, guys!” Chris said joining us. He was holding hands with a bashful looking Jade. She looked paler than when I saw Chris attack her, but it must be because she’s a vampire now.

“Hi.” Jade said shyly. Zane gave them a brief acknowledging nod.

“Hi.” I looked briefly at Chris but focused more on Jade. “I’m Del.” I said, introducing myself.

“I’m Jade.” She said in a small voice before hiding her face in Chris’s shoulder. Awww, she’s so cute and they are so adorable together.

Chris seemed to look intently at Zane before he suddenly said: “See you later guys.” With a big smile on his face. “I gotta go teach Jade how to feed less messily.” He was looking fondly down at her. “Peace!” Chris said, before they vanished as fast as they came. Well, they weren’t here long. At least Jade seems fine with what happened to her, so that’s good ─I think.

“So, what were you about to say before Chris showed up?” Zane looked deeply into my eyes, making me look away, uneasy under his scrutiny. “Hmmm?” Huh? Oh, right.

“Yeah, um. I was wondering what was up with you and Blake.” I risked a glance his way and he let out a sigh.

“Ah, my little brother.” He seemed to debate with himself for awhile before he asked: “Do you know how, I became a vampire?” I shook my head in the negative. “Of course you don’t.” I heard him mutter bitterly. “Ok, well, ‘Gladow’s’ are a sort of warrior/guardians in our world. There are not that many of us left ─pure ‘Gladows’ that is. And when there was the war, ‘the Ellithien/human war’ some centuries ago, my ancestors allied themselves with the first ‘Death’ and became sort of like knights. Ok?”

“Yeah…”

“Ok, so in ‘Ellithia’, I lived with my parents and little brother, in ‘Castle Mortis’ along with Cassandra, Deana, Tatyanna and Cliff. Tatyanna and Cliff are Deana and Cassandra’s parents but they are also the highest authority besides ‘Death’ in ‘Ellithia’. Since ‘Death’ which is also Cassandra’s uncle, mostly lives in our world, they are the ones in charge over there to make sure there isn’t a repeat of ‘the Ellithien/human war’.” I nodded. “So, one day, C.C. and her parents went to visit her grandfather in ‘Derondon’ for a couple of days and on the day they were to return, there was an ambush in ‘Castle Mortis’. The ‘Sinx’, which is a group that still have the archaic belief that we are above humans, tried to overthrow us in an attempt to cross the portal and invade the human world.” A sad look came across his face.

“You don’t have to go on if you want to, you know” I said compassionately. It looked to be hard for him to do so. He gave me a glum smile.

“I know, but I’d like for you to know.” He said sincerely.

“Ok.” I said softly and waited for him to continue.

“Ok, so where was I?” He asked trying to remember where he left off.

“The ambush.” I reminded him.

“Oh, yeah, ok, so… They tried to overthrow us; my mom asked me to get Blake out of there since he was only about eleven years old and way too young to fight but he kept on sneaking past me, to try to help with the fight. I finally was able to catch him between dodging blows and strikes from ‘Sinxes’ that were after us and put him safely in a room, only to turn around and meet the end of a sword.

It went right through my midsection and emerged from my back. My father was just able to dispose of the one who attacked me with ‘Crowee’ ─his shadow─ before he gave his final breath. Unfortunately some ‘Sinxes’ managed to escape but they didn’t get to cross the portal. I fell to my knees and saw their spirit leave their bodies. I knew I would join them soon and I made peace with that but then Tatyanna and Cliff returned. They ran to where I was and Cliff dislodged the sword from my stomach. Tatyanna went to talk with my parent’s spirits while Cliff looked over me. My parents asked Tatyanna to save me; it too late for them since they had already left their bodies but it was not too late for me.

They said: ‘they didn’t want me to die without at least finding my mate’ but I didn’t want to be saved, I didn’t want to become a vampire. I had already made peace with dying, so when Cliff cut his wrist and asked to change me, I refused. But my body was so weak that I couldn’t do anything to stop Blake, from forcefully making me drink Cliff’s blood.” He let out a frustrated huff.

“Sounds like Blake was only trying to save your life” I don’t see what was wrong with that.

“Yeah, well, he should have thought of that before he was the one that got me killed, in the first place.” He said bitterly. “But that’s not the worst of it. The worst of it is: that the only reason my parents wanted me saved was so that I could find my mate. Right?”

“Yeah…” I didn’t see where this was going.

“Well imagine my surprise, when I finally think I found her, only to discover that she’s meant to be with someone else.” He said with a slight manic look in his eyes. “That someone else being my little brother.” So that’s why he always looks so fondly at Abbigail when she’s in the same room as him.

“You’re in love with Abbigail.” I said in realization.

“No. I was. But since I can’t be with her, considering she was meant to be with someone else, I had to let her go, ergo I can’t be in love with her, so I’m not.” He said calming down. “But that doesn’t mean I’m not still mad at Blake. If he would’ve listened and automatically went to his room that night, I wouldn’t have died and when I would have met Abbigail, she would’ve been too young for me but now…” He gave a small sigh. “Or Blake could have just let me die but no, he had to be selfish and save me because he didn’t want to be alone.” He said making a derisive face.

“I’m sorry.” What else am-I suppose to say?

“You have nothing to be sorry about; it’s not your fault.” He said softly. It’s amazing how he can change mood so fast ─like C.C. “But do you know what I miss the most about being a ‘Gladow’?” He asked with a melancholic look on his face.

“No.” Since I don’t even know what a ‘Gladow’ looks like or do.

“The sun.” He said simply and wistfully. “How I could absorb its light, feel its warmth through my veins. It was heavenly.” I gave him a small smile. “Well that and ‘Sax’, ─my shadow.”

“Your… shadow…?” Ok, now I’m really confused.

“Well, it was not just a normal shadow, obviously.” He said. “It was like a cross between another part of me and a pet. It’s really complicated but to put it simply, it’s literally like a part of me died that night but this part stayed dead.”

“I’m… sorry?” He gave a small sarcastic chuckle.

“Again, not your fault but thanks. Anyway, now that’s in the past. So, yeah.”

“But why does everyone seem to, um, really dislike you?” I asked. He gave another small, sharp laugh.

“Well, since Blake ruined my life, I’m just returning the favor.” He said deviously. He looked at me a moment in contemplation. “Can you keep a secret?”

“Sure, why?” I looked at him with curiosity.

“I never really did anything horrible to Blake even if everyone says otherwise.” He said.

“Huh?” I’m lost. He laughed, again.

“I make everyone think I do bad things to Blake, out of revenge but they’re not as bad as I make them seem to be.” He explained. “Like when his cat disappeared and only its bones turned up, I said I killed it. But in reality, I just found some bones of an already dead cat, kidnapped ‘Lightshade’ his cat and gave it to a new family. I could never actually harm a pet.” Well that’s sweet ─in a twisted sort of way.

“Ok, what about Chris?”

“What about Chris?” He inquired confused.

“Well the first time everyone saw him, they thought what you did was horrendous. So what’s up with that?” I asked.

“Ah, yes. That.” He smiled sardonically. “Ok, you see; when a vampire turns a human or ‘Ellithien’, a sort of… bond, forms between them. Now that bond can either be that of a… you could say parent and child, or the newly turned vampire can see the one who turned them as a sort of god. So… for the bond to be that of a parent and child, the vampire who turned the human or ‘Ellithien’ must have a mate, and their mate must also give some of their blood to the child. That way they’ll see their creators as parents. That’s why most vampires only have ‘children’” He made air quotations for the word ‘children’. “when they find their mate.”

“But you don’t have a mate.” I said.

“Yeah. I know.” He said easily.

“So, they were shocked because you turned Chris without a mate. Meaning that Chris sees you as a sort of god.” I realized. “So why did you do it?”

“Everyone else thinks it’s because I wanted to piss my little brother off. Which is true, in a way, but that was not what was on my mind at the time. The fact that it made Blake mad is just an added bonus.” He paused as if he were searching for the right words. “But the reality is I saved Chris’s life.”

“How?” I wondered.

“Well, I was in Los Angeles about a year ago, and as I was wandering the street one night, I saw this truck crash into a little ‘Honda’ civic. The truck driver fled the scene and when the police and medics arrived at the scene of the accident, Chris was already in a coma. Both the driver and the passenger shot gun got minor wounds but Chris was the one sitting in the backseat, where the truck hit. He took most of the damaged and ended up being ninety-five percent brain-dead when he was brought in the hospital.

I followed them to the hospital, you could say out of morbid curiosity, and when I heard the doctor say to Chris’s parents that they did all they could but there was nothing they could do to save him, an idea hit me and I snuck up in his room.

I was lonely, you see. And I thought that if it worked, I would have saved a life and would end up being less lonely. So, I drank some of his blood and gave him some of mine then snuck back out and went to wait in the waiting room as the doctors went to unplug him. When they did, I was surprised to feel the connection forming.”

“Connection? I thought it was just a bond like a mother and child or best friends, that sort of things.”

“No, it’s deeper than that. Vampires… we can communicate telepathically with those we shared blood with. And I felt him in my mind. He was confused and didn’t know what was happening. I reassured him in my mind, that everything will be alright and that all he had to do was play dead for a little while. Anyway, I then went down to the morgue and found an ‘Ellithien’ coroner. I explained to him what I did and he was happy that a kid didn’t have to ‘die’.” He laughed. “Well technically, he did die, he just didn’t stay, dead.” I too laughed a little. A thought struck me.

“Hey, since Chris turned Jade, does she see him as a sort of god?” That would be weird in a couple.

“Oh, no. She’s his mate, that’s why he changed her as messily as he did.” He rolled his eyes. “He said that she fell down on some rocks in the garden and that when he went to help her, he smelled her blood and attacked. But to be fair with him, he’s not even a year old. I mean, I’m young, I’m just five but he’s like a baby so he didn’t have a lot of restrain for blood. Much less for his mate’s.” His blue eyes flashed and he closed them with a groan. “I have to go. Unless you’re offering to be my dinner, I have to find someone who will.”

“Go ahead.” His eyes flashed open and he looked at me, surprised.

“You sure?” What? Why is he looking at me like that? Oh. He thinks that…

“No, I meant, go ahead to look for someone… else.” He gave me a pout.

“Ok, then. Bye” He said, giving me a wink and a smile before vanishing in a flash. Releasing a sigh, I thought: well that was interesting.

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