I do not remember dying, yet I must have. I remember kissing Arthur and bidding our friend, the Doctor, to guard him and then all was darkness. I baulk at the memory now. Arthur was a pathetic human. I recall stupidly asking the Doctor to give me peace, but in this strange, half-life, I sense no peace and nor do I want it. My eyes snap open, but I see nothing. I understand I must wait, but there is a terrible hunger gnawing at my stomach and a thirst I cannot describe. I reach out my hand and touch something hard and cold above me. I push at it and my hands meet resistance. This, then, must be the lid of my coffin. In the whisper of a memory, I hear my Master tell me to have no fear. He will come to me. I smile into the darkness and I remember Van Helsing’s pitiable, honest face. He cannot win. I hear a scratching sound above me. The lid of the coffin slides open and my Master is there. All thoughts of Arthur desert me and I know I have my master to thank for leading me to my new, powerful life. He destroyed my weak and feeble humanity and I have become one of his number. I am strong again. I am not the pathetic girl who lay on the bed, watched over as I died a human death, drained of human blood and gasping human endearments.
“Miss Westenra,” my Master says. His voice is soft and alluring, as it was on the nights he visited me. The first night he came, I believed it was Arthur with his chaste kisses. But oh, how different was the visit from my Master. How I shivered at his touch as we made love under the moonlight and how I barely felt the pressure on my neck as he drank my blood for the first time. It was he who suggested I keep a diary. He who suggested I write what ‘they’ would want to hear. Never, he told me, should they suspect I asked for this change. Never should they suspect ‘dear Lucy’ was simply biding her time. Each one of my human lovers was attracted to me. I used to laugh to myself when I thought of it. I played them all, one against the other, to see who would be the victor, an exciting game. Each one of them thought they were helping me by giving me their blood. Stupid little boys. Could they not see it was never going to help me? Each night, after their ridiculous medical procedures and the ludicrous way they draped me with disgusting garlic flowers, I would call my Master with my mind and beg him to take me. I wanted him to drain my life-force completely. I was sick and tired of living the way I did. He almost succeeded, but those men made it drag on and on. Arthur thought he had won, but sad little man. He could never win over my Master.
The moment I realised I would die I felt nothing but joy. No longer would I have to live as some beautiful invalid, with a stuttering heart and what they called anaemia. I knew my ragged breathing would not last for long and I was grateful. The last thing I heard in my old life was the voice of my Master, telling me he would come for me.
“Walk with me, Lucy,” he whispers. His voice is even more beautiful than I remember. I feel a frisson of desire course through me as he takes my hand and helps me out of the coffin. He leads me out of the vault and we step into the midnight churchyard. I stare at the familiar pathways and the shapes of the trees which bend over the tombstones, protecting them from some unseen hand. The occupants of these tombs need not fear us, it is the living we hunt. Looking at the tombs I feel a deep annoyance. I scowl.
“Why, dear Lucy, do you frown so?” he asks.
“These graves,” I hiss. “We cannot use the people within. It is too late.” I stare at a freshly dug grave. “This one for instance.” I jab my finger at it, last week’s date carved upon it. “Had you acted more quickly,” I say.
My Master laughs softly, the noise musical and exciting. “It cannot always be the way, Lucy. We may miss opportunities, but once our heart is set on it, we can make our own, sweet decisions.”
“Arthur,” I say. “I want Arthur.” I turn and look at my Master and he takes both my hands in his. He leans down and kisses them, his touch is ice on my marble skin.
“We have an eternity, my dear. We can hunt whomsoever you please.” I look over his shoulder, seeing nothing, yet imagining the people I want dead. I visualise them, pale faces staring in horror when they see what I have become. I imagine them seeing me drift through the churchyard on a beautiful, moonlit night and I smile, knowing they can become mine. I take a step towards my Master and put my arms around his neck. I breathe in his scent and stare into his fathomless eyes.
“Teach me, Master.”