Charlotte: As in Death

Caleb remembers; Vlad is a stickler for tradition. The coffin, funeral charade, and buried six feet down. Charlotte deserved better than fear as she was reborn to him. His hands trembled as the memories flooded his system. Caleb panicked; vampires had no need of breath unless speaking; his was rapid. The silence, blackness, the confines of the cotton-lined wooden box. Clawing the material, tearing, feet kicked, and fists pounded. The skin on his knuckles split, and the smell of his blood intensified his desire. Soil spilled in, pooling at his feet and along his sides. Caleb pulled the fractured wood into the coffin. He forced himself through the gap. Coughing, he held his breath and dug the soil in desperation to sate the growing hunger. His sister was waiting, and an impatient Vlad. Lillith looked over the brother’s soiled clothes. It was clear who Vlad favoured as she had fresh clothes waiting for her.

Caleb, Lillith and Vlad

Those first few moments as the newborn vampire reaches the surface are disorientating. Words twist inside; a reiteration of gabbled nonsense in a strange language. Lillith’s cheeks were flush, and blood rested on plump lips. Vlad tossed a plasma pack, which Caleb ripped into like an animal, spilling half the content on the ground. The sister giggled; Vlad took pleasure in preparing Lilith; her transformation was slow. They swapped blood across several nights. He treated her as a child born of two vampires, lacing her food with plasma fruit. Vlad mixed their blood, slowly injecting his poison into her system. It forced her shift to start before the finality of draining her blood.

It is how Caleb intended to turn Charlotte, to prepare her for the undead life. Discovering her pregnancy, Caleb believed her instincts as a mother would take over. He carried her body to the basement and ran the bath lukewarm. She looked asleep, eyes closed, lips parted. He expected her to giggle, and splash water at him as the cloth stroked the naked form. They had a shower once before, another steamy encounter as his touch tickled and caressed. Charlotte’s laughter was so loud he expected Patrick to discover them. Caleb paused, becoming a vampire; it changed him, disconnected him from the human he had once been. Fear set in; would Charlotte keep her childlike quality? Would they remain connected? This sire bond was permanent, yet Lillith outgrew Vlad. She demanded opportunities he could not offer her. What happens when he and Charlotte reach the crossroads? Mediums suggested some vampires had paths others could not follow. Love in his life remained temporary. Caleb clung to the idea, that this was forever.

Three days would pass from when her heart stopped to the flicker of her eyes. Caleb wanted Charlotte to awaken safe in his arms, her family none the wiser about her transition. He felt confident he could train her and stop her feasting on humans. To make things worse, Caleb was struggling with his hunger reawakened. As he dressed her body, it stiffened. Time was not on his side. Caleb lay, taking care to hold her close. The hardest part was trying to push the plasma packs he saved for her resurrection from his mind.

Charlotte and Caleb

In death, what would she feel? Were there bright lights, the faces of her loved ones, the welcoming arms of her ancestors? Or stillness, nothing and nowhere? Caleb whispered stories, uncertain if she would be aware of his presence. His recollection of the missing days was hazy. He died in pain and confusion, then awoke moments later hungry and scared.

She was not in the body. There was nothing to see that she would recall, but the feeling was peaceful. Charlotte felt tethered by an invisible thread, a kite dancing on a gentle breeze and safe. Her heart filled with Caleb’s offered blood. The virus multiplied and claimed her cells. It started as a dull ache in her heart, pressure building in the chambers. Harrowing pain burned through her body. A thousand needles stabbed her muscles; they twitched, contorting her. A coffin restrained these movements. Seeing them, Caleb understood why containment at birth was necessary. Charlotte screamed, an involuntary release of the air remaining in her lungs. She bolted upright, and her purple eyes popped open.

The first image includes “Funeral Grief and grave poses”


The second image pose comes from

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