My Life In Darkness
36. My Life In Darkness
I woke up. I was lying in Astrid’s bed. I guessed it was daytime as I saw light peeping in through the curtains. I wondered if the previous events had been a dream, but when I tried to move there was a sharp pain in my chest. My chest was covered in a bandage. I remembered being stabbed by Maximilian, and then everything going black. As I tried to sit up, the door to the bedroom opened and in walked Astrid, looking full of life.
“So you’re awake sleepyhead!” She said as she began drawing the curtains.
“What happened?” I asked her.
“When I came to in that crypt I found you lying in a pool of your own blood with the dagger in your chest. I fed you some blood to stabilise you. Luckily there was a Mercedes parked outside which had a first aid kit. I guessed that had belonged to Maximilian. So I bandaged you up and brought you back here. You had lost a lot of blood. Fortunately for you I had some A negative blood stored, so I was able to replace it. The dagger just missed your heart by a hair’s breadth. You were very fortunate.” Astrid informed me.
“What about Maximilian? What happened to him?” I asked.
“He was just a pile of ashes when I awoke. It looked very much like what you did to Cass.”
“In the heat of the moment I ended up setting him on fire.”
“You’ve taken a life now, one that wasn’t a vampire.” She said while looking at me carefully to see my response.
“I know. I didn’t like him, but I was hoping you would be the one that finished him off, not me. I got carried away.” I said in a regretful voice.
“You’ll have that on your conscience for the rest of your life now.” She reminded me.
“Once you’ve taken your first life, it gets easier to take others, but you may find that out. I know from personal experience.” She informed me.
“But I don’t want to kill others.” I answered.
“It looks like you’ve already started down that path.”
I stared out the window. I didn’t want to think about it. Was I going to end up killing more? Would I become like Astrid now? I was unable see the dark path before me, and where it would lead.
“But it all worked out anyway, despite what happened.” I said trying to sit up again. Astrid looked at me darkly and stood at the foot of the bed.
“Don’t believe for a minute that I’m fooled by that.” She stated.
“What do you mean?” I asked, not understanding.
“I know you were attempting to kill me. You just lost your nerve.”
“But we got rid of Maximilian. So it all worked out in the end.” I explained.
“The end justifies the means, you mean to say?” She clarified.
“Well I wouldn’t put it that way.” I told her.
“How would you put it? A cowardly act trying to get rid of me and then failing?” She asked. There was anger and reproachment in her voice.
“I’m sorry. I thought it was for the best. But I realised I couldn’t live without you, so I stopped Maximilian from killing you.”
“Oh, how wonderful of you! I guess I should be grateful for that, but it doesn’t clear you from blame. I will never forgive you.” I looked away from her feeling embarrassed. “I shouldn’t have been in that position to begin with. I was aware you were probably planning to double-cross me, so I played along waiting to see what you would do.”
“Okay, but now we’ve got through it together, maybe we can focus on moving on.” I suggested. Astrid laughed. It was a humourless laugh devoid of mirth or joy.
“I am never going to let you forget this. You had one chance to kill me, and you blew it. You’re stuck with me forever now, and I’m going to make your life a living hell. You may think how I was treating you was bad before, but that will be nothing to what you’re going to face now.” She warned me. “You will long for the days before you tried to kill me.”
I looked at her and the expression on her face, and realised she had lost all respect for me. I was nothing to her now.
“I’m sorry. If there is any way I can make it up to you…” My voice trailed off as I saw her shaking her head at my words.
“There is nothing you can say or do. The Council wants me to keep you alive and under my control. So that’s how it’s going to be. You can no longer leave the house. This means you can no longer work and you will have to give up your apartment. I will keep you drained of blood regularly so your powers will not be able to manifest so strongly, and you won’t be able to pull that trick of disobeying my commands again. I suppose that witch told you how to do that?”
“Yes.” I admitted. “But she was just trying to help. Please don’t harm her!”
“Too late.” She smiled grimly at me. “I’ve already dealt with her for that betrayal.”
“You didn’t have to kill her!” I screamed. Poor Lisette, I thought. She certainly didn’t deserve that.
“It’s not your business to tell me what I can or can”t do. And you will be regularly disciplined from now on. Hopefully that will keep reminding you to obey me at all times.” She stated. “I’ll leave you to mull over this.”
“Surely the Council won’t want you to treat me like this?” I asked her as she began to turn around. She just shrugged.
“As long as you’re alive and under my control they don’t care how I treat you or what living conditions you’re in. Honestly, they would probably prefer it I treat you this way. After all, they consider you a threat.” With that she walked out and closed the door behind her. I was left alone in that room with my thoughts.
This is not a happy story with a happy ending. There is no happy ending here. There are no happy endings. Not in my life anyway. This is the story of my descent into darkness. This was to be my life from now on. Astrid had lost all love and respect for me, and now I was going to be her slave for the rest of my days, however long that was going to be. I was to dwell perpetually in the darkness, continually yearning for the light, but no longer able to feel that light, or warmth, or happiness, ever again.
I know it’s a dark ending, but that was how it was always going to play out from when I started writing it. There is a possibility of a sequel, where maybe Melissa is able to win back her freedom and seek the Council, but that’s another story for another time.
This is the first time I have completed a longer narrative from beginning to end, and so I’m feeling rather proud of myself with this achievement. Hopefully there will be many more. To be honest, sometimes I could feel the story dragging me down into the darkness with it, so I’m glad it’s finally out of my head, and now I’m free to focus on other projects.
I would like to thank everyone who has stuck with this story and liked and commented on it. I would especially like to thank H.R.R. Gorman for their advice and constant encouragement, which helped me carry on with this.
©Joanne Fisher 2019.