“Barricade the door!” Ray yelled, slamming it shut behind him.
“Give me your knife,” Alice said as a man and woman quickly moved a crate to the doorway.
“Not now Alice,” Ray said, pushing her aside.
Alice felt a small hand on her arm and looked down to see the small girl pulling at her. Alice assured her, “It’s going to be okay. Ray, I need your knife.”
“I said not now Alice,” he gasped, breathless from helping the couple move another crate.
Alice pulled away from the girl and raised her hand to her mouth, biting down on the flesh between her thumb and index finger. As she felt the skin give way, the tears of pain slid down her cheek. Pulling her hand out of her mouth, she knelt down on one knee and squeezed blood from the open wound. Quickly drawing a circle of blood around her, she stood and closed her eyes. Immediately, the power rushed up from her feet and through her hair like an electric shock. Opening her palms at her side, she inhaled the sensation and felt the air tighten around the room. As she exhaled, it seemed like the air in the room returned. She could feel the eyes of the four of them fall upon her. She knew they had felt part of the energy as well. Another wave of energy filled her as she spoke silently to the room. Pushing the energy from her palms, it slid quickly across the floor, to the walls, and up to the ceiling.
Ray watched as a white light flooded the room and ran corner to corner and floor to ceiling, pushing warmness through him and the others.
Feeling the light quickly return to her, Alice dropped her hands to her side and opened her eyes. Inhaling, she glanced around the room and saw it had been sealed in the power of the light. Swallowing, she took a step backwards out of the circle and moved to an empty corner of the room. Kneeling, she squeezed more blood from her wound and drew a crude arc from wall to wall. Stepping inside, she leaned backwards into the corner and slumped to the floor. “Protect me from what is outside of the arc,” she whispered. The blood arc turned bright glittery red and then faded into the floor.
“What did you just do?” Ray asked, staring at Alice.
“I invoked a protection incantation,” she answered, looking up and seeing the fear in their eyes. “For now, nothing can come in and they can’t get us. Will you let me borrow your knife now?”
Fishing his pocketknife out of the front of his jeans, Ray looked down at it and then at her.
“I can see the fear in your eyes and I’m not going to hurt you,” she answered, watching as the girl’s mother pulled her closer but the girl shrugged away her mother’s touch.
Walking to where she sat, Ray looked down in wonderment at his wife.
“Just place it on the arc,” she said without looking up at him. “I’ve created a space you can’t enter.”
Kneeling on the floor, he put the knife down on the arc. Hesitantly, he reached out towards the space that was between him and Alice but his hand was pushed back. “Who are you?” he asked, sitting on the floor.
“I’m still your wife,” she answered, taking the knife from the arc. Cutting the sleeve of her shirt off and slicing it in half, she wrapped it around her hand to stop the bleeding.
Ray slowly shook his head. “What are you?”
“I’m a white magician and I’m a vampire.”
Sliding backwards, Ray felt the instinct to run but he knew what was on the other side of the door. “You go out in the sun all the time. You don’t burn. You don’t bite.”
“I’m not a horror movie monster. I am one of a few that can endure sunlight. My magic allows me to do things others can’t, and I don’t feed on others. I get a transfusion once a month.”
“What are those things chasing us?” the girl’s father asked.
“Wolves,” Alice answered. “They’ve been searching for me for months now.”
“Because I fled,” she answered. Looking at Ray, she took a deep breath. “I told you I could never get pregnant, but you didn’t listen. You just couldn’t accept what we had and be happy with it. I knew you swapped my pills. I knew the moment when I conceived our son.”
“Our son?” Ray asked, feeling shame for betraying Alice.
Nodding, she continued, “Why couldn’t you just love me and our life and be happy? Why couldn’t that be enough?”
Ray looked down at the floor, everything he wanted to say caught in his throat like sand.
When he couldn’t answer her question, Alice said, “Without my creator’s protection, I wouldn’t be here right now, he’s been locked away for years.”
“But you’re here now,” the girl’s father said.
“At his request and for my own safety, I cast a sleeping spell on him, locked him away, and never looked back.”
“Is he looking for you too?” the girl asked, sitting down next to Ray.
“His enemy, Gabriel Skye, is.” Looking at Ray, she added, “The moment our son was conceived, the wolves awoke and began their search for me. I’ve seen them multiply in numbers each day and no matter what magic I attempted, they wouldn’t go away. Tonight is the night of the blood moon and at dusk Gabriel will wake and come for me.”
“What can we do to stop him?” the girls’ mother asked.
Alice shook her head. “Nothing.”
“There has to be something,” Ray said. “I can’t lose you.”
Smiling, Alice felt the love from him inside of her heart. “It’s too late. My first born is owed to him and he will come for us both.”
“That’s my son,” Ray said as he stood. “Vampire or not, he can’t come and just take that away from us.”
“Turn around and look outside,” Alice said.
The four of them turned and watched as the wall slowly faded away. They could see hundreds of black wolves sitting outside of the storage building they were hold up in. Behind them the sun slowly sank lower and lower behind the tree line.
“They can’t see us can they?” the girl asked.
“No. They’ll sit there until he comes.”
“Will he kill us?” the girl asked.
“You’re not going with him at all,” Ray said, spinning on his heel. “You’re my wife.”
“Why does he want your first born?” the girl’s mother asked as the wall reappeared.
“So he can walk in the sun. My son will be part vampire, part white magician, and part human. His blood is the ultimate mélange of races.”
“Were you ever going to tell me?” Ray asked.
“No. At first it was out of anger towards your betrayal, and then for your safety. I can’t sit in this corner forever. Gabriel knows that eventually, I’ll have to have a transfusion or feed.”
“If you fed on me, would I become a vampire?”
“No. You’d feel like you had the flu. A little run down that’s all, but don’t even think about it. There’s nothing in here for you to eat or drink to stay alive.”
“There must be something,” the girl said as a sadness crossed her face.
Alice felt their desire to protect her and the baby and smiled. “When the moon has reached its peak in the sky, the spell I have cast will be broken. Gabriel will strike then. The wolves are tied to me by a blood spell and they won’t leave until he comes.” Sighing, a vision of her creator and his sacrifices for her flashed across her eyes. Looking at Ray, tears filled her eyes as she slowly realized what she had to do. “Can you take the baby out of me?” she asked.
“What?” he asked, staring at her as like she had lost her mind.
“He will die. I can’t do that to our son.”
“He will die if Gabriel comes. I’d rather have him die at the hands of his father than at the hands of a monster.”
Shaking his head, Ray said, “No. No.” Collapsing on his knees in front of Alice, he looked into her eyes. “There has to be another way.”
“You kill me. You could break those crates apart and drive a stake through my heart and then set my body on fire.”
“Won’t you bleed out?” the father asked.
Shaking her head, Alice pulled her knees to her chest. “I’ll be weakened but I’ll heal.”
“And if I gave you blood?” the girl asked.
“I would not take it. You’re too young.”
“If I gave you blood,” the father asked.
“I’ll heal quicker. I’ll be able to defend you against Gabriel.”
“And what about you?” the mother asked.
“That is left to be decided.”
Standing, Ray walked across the room. Rage consumed his soul and sadness ate at his heart. “This is ridiculous,” he snapped. “I can’t make this decision. I can’t choose death for our son or for you.”
“Then I’ll do it,” Alice said as she stood. Raising her hand against the invisible barrier, she closed her eyes and spoke words only the air could hear.
Tumbling backwards into the wall, Ray felt the air around him pinning him to the wall. “What are you doing?” he screamed. The pressure ceased and he fell to the ground. Rising to his feet, he started to walk towards Alice, but another invisible barrier stopped him.
Alice looked at the mother and the father. “Will you help me?”
The both nodded. “We will,” they said in unison.
Nodding, Alice repeated the protection spell for the little girl. “She is safe from Gabriel and the wolves.”
“What do we need to do?” the mother asked.
“You’ll cut into the womb and remove the baby,” Alice said as tears streamed down her face. “You’ll stake his heart and set him on fire.”
The mother nodded as her own tears slipped from her eyes.
“And me?” the father asked.
“You’ll just have to let me bite you and then you must pull away from me. No matter what I say, you’ll know when it’s time to pull away.”
“I’ll delay the spells results but you must move quickly after the baby is out.”
“Don’t do this!” Ray screamed. “There has to be another way.”
“Quiet!” Alice screamed. “This death is far kinder than by the hands of Gabriel.” Stepping over the blood-smeared arch, she tossed the knife to the mother. Stripping off her shirt and sitting on the floor, Alice leaned back onto the floor and closed her eyes. “Don’t hesitate, do this without thought but with courage.”
The mother knelt down beside Alice and drove the knife into her womb.
Screaming Alice, felt the pain burn through her body. She used what energy she had to ease the woman’s mind. When she felt the baby free from her body, she began to mumble a spell. Grabbing the father, Alice bit down on his wrist so hard she felt the bone break in between her jaws. As she fed on him, she watched the mother drive the knife through her son’s heart.
Ray screamed but knew that no one could hear him. “Stop!” he screamed over and over again. Dropping to his knees, he watched the mother swaddled the baby in Alice’s shirt and then set the bundle on fire.
Letting the father’s arm go, she opened her eyes and watched as the magic swirled around them. Looking at the small fire between her and Ray, she closed her eyes and knew they were safe until the next blood moon.
This page copyright © 2009 Shelia Taylor.
This is a rough draft and not the final version