Chapter 1. Initial Discovery
I was sitting in the car, which was being driven by the woman that I call mother, since she gave birth to me. Looking out at the window, I felt as though the world simply couldn’t understand me or the deepest feelings reflected in the iridescent pools of my sparkling eyes. I sighed or grimaced, since I wasn’t sure which I was feeling.
“Things in our past have been rough,” said my mother, “and things in our past have been tough, but the past is past, and . . .”
She just couldn’t say any more, and I just couldn’t hear any more. She turned her eyes back to the road, probably since she was driving, and I turned with a sigh back to the rolling expanse of that green place out there. We were leaving the place we had left, left as if it had never happened. But it had, and it would never, ever go away.
“Amora Bird,” my mother said, “remember that I love you. That’s why I named you Amora. Because I love you so much.”
I felt my stomach tighten at those words, words that should have meant something to me, and which almost did, but I was not one given to intense intercommunion with the inner veils of even my own parents. I was in high school, and always felt so distant and aloof, so very different from people who weren’t like me. Oh, it is such a burden to be so different!
We were going somewhere, that was for sure. Somewhere else, that wasn’t home, wasn’t the place we had left. It would never be the same, because things had changed.
“I’m trying,” my mother said with tears into my silence and my sighing. “I want you to try too.”
I looked into those eyes and saw the intense obfuscation of turmoil deep within her trying soul. “I know, mom. I’m sorry.”
That was all I could say, so I didn’t say anything else. We pulled into the driveway of our new home, and suddenly it all became so real. Everything had really happened, and here we really were. I just hoped I could survive this place, where people didn’t know how fantastic I was. I sighed as I helped my mother bring our luggage into our most recent domicile.
That night, I was asleep in my bed, thinking about all of the things that had happened that day. I couldn’t think very clearly for some reason, so I decided to stop, so I just kind of lay there with my eyes closed and my mind drifting through a whole bunch of complex dreams. As I slept, I felt a little more rested than I did while I was awake, and when I woke up I was tired, but not as tired as I was without sleeping. I stood onto my feet and stretched, and realized that it was still dark outside. The clock read 4:50 a.m. Still a few hours of sanctuary from the cold, tomblike halls of high school that stretch ever on, trying to consume my soul in a swath of morbid conformity.
I looked out of my window into the street below, where the moon was glowing like a big, round lamp, a lamp that someone hung every night so that the sky wouldn’t be so dark. I saw things moving out there, things that moved with insidious purpose. It was then that I knew. It was as if somehow I forgot to think rationally about anything; I just knew. These things, they weren’t just people. They were vampires.
Yeah, they looked like people, but they were outside at night. And they were walking thirstily. And I read in a book somewhere that vampires walk thirstily in the moonlight, and it sent a chill creeping up my spine, the kind of chill you get when you look out into the street and think that bloodsuckers are running around your neighborhood. I was so terrified.
But then, I saw him. I didn’t just see him. It was like my soul danced out of my bones and did the cha-cha right up to his soul, which came out and then our souls waltzed in the moonlight across the lawn in a spiraling ascent of incredible, instantaneous passion and understanding. His eyes were like big blue birds, flying in the glint of the sunlight, passionate and real and cool. His muscles were strong and muscular, and he was wearing a black trench coat that covered his body. He looked like the kind of neat movie star who wore sunglasses on cloudy days and smiled in the face of horrible danger. I knew that I loved him, and that he loved me. He gazed up at me and I knew that he knew what I knew.
May I come inside, his eyes asked me. Yes, you may, my eyes replied. And suddenly, he wasn’t in the lawn. Suddenly, he was in my room. He leaned close to me and brushed my hair aside. I ached for him. I knew he was a vampire, but I figured, hey, nobody’s perfect.
“I am falling in love with you,” I said.
“You don’t even know my name, Amora Bird,” he said, smiling, his fang glistening like two sharp pearls of perfect love.
“Oh, but you know mine, and I will learn yours!” I asserted with all of the vigor of my beating heart. “I don’t know what is in a name, but what is yours, if we must insist upon Shakespeare, my love?!”
“My name,” he breathed, standing close, his body against mine. “My name is a thing I do not give out lightly. Few mortals have heard my name. Those who have shake at it, they tremble, they fear. They know what I am and what I like to do in my spare time, and it scares them. Amora, my name, my name is . . . Bob.”
Bob. It sent a chill up my spine. I shivered with love for Bob the vampire. I put my arms around him.
“Bob, I know you are a vampire! Please, do what you need to do,” I begged.
“You don’t understand what you’re saying!” he argued, his eyes pleading with desperation.
“No, but I understand what I feel!” I cried passionately.
To that he could brook no argument. And so, he leaned his head to my neck. I felt teeth begin to press against my skin. Then, he stopped.
“Wait . . . wait . . .” he whispered. “This . . . this is your first time. I have to brush my teeth first.”
“No, I am ready,” I said, hot tears staining my face. “You do not need to brush your teeth!”
“I do. I just . . . I love you, Amora! That is what your name means, Amora. It means love. And love means doing the thing that’s best for you, even if you don’t understand everything. You have to let me do this. Please!”
My chest heaved with indecision and an overwhelming sense of ambiguous, floating signifiers. “Very well. Come with me.”
So, I took him into my bathroom. His skin looked like perfection in the brilliant light of the bathroom. I put the sparkling toothbrush with the glistening toothpaste on those little, amazing bristles, and I said, “There. Do what you have to do.”
I turned from him then, in that moment, knowing that it was his moment and that I had to leave him to do what he had to do. He only said, “If I’m not back in five minutes, don’t wait for me. Save yourself.”
Those words might sound like they were meaningless, but they weren’t meaningless. They were the most breathtaking words I had ever heard. My chest heaved with love for the vampire man who would think to say such a thing for me. I waited in my room. Thankfully my mom was a heavy sleeper and didn’t expect a vampire to visit me late at night, so she kept her door closed and didn’t hear any of this. I sat on my bed, aching for my love, my precious Bob. Even being a part from him was like being apart from someone who was actually not someone else, but a piece of me.
Then he returned, and that feeling I just described went away because it wasn’t true anymore. Now he was there, not gone. I sat there, looking at him with my sparkling eyes on his glittering teeth and glistening eyes. He stood there, looking at my sparkling eyes with his glittering teeth and glistening eyes.
“Is it secret? Is it safe?” I asked him with passion.
“Please,” I said, “please. Do what must be done!!!”
“I shall,” he whispered. Suddenly he was there, holding me, drawing me close, and I knew that for the first time I was truly alive, here in this dead man’s arms. I felt a flutter in my heart as the bloodsucker jammed his teeth into my neck. “He truly cares for me,” I sighed.
And that is how I came to be in love with someone I didn’t think I’d ever love, when I didn’t think I could ever love at all. But I could love, and I did love, and I loved someone I wasn’t supposed to love. I loved a hygienic vampire!