Charlotte: Cracks

Blood shared and bound them as relatives, as siblings. Daciana held tears, her words bitter and cruel, as the boy ran to join their play. She stepped between him and Luliana. Cornelius, whose features were like their own, found himself rejected. Luliana gazed at the floor, open to friendship as she peered around her sister. Eyes pleaded to allow him to join their play. Daciana refused to let him be a part of their lives. In the same way, she continued to deny the existence of Charlotte and Caleb.

Cornelius knew he was different to other children. Caleb persisted in schooling him in the ways of the vampire. Teaching him to fish was an odd part of this training. He enjoyed catching the frogs, but transforming them into food was unappealing. Cornelius needed to keep his occult status a secret. The children of Windenberg with whom he studied were the closest he would ever come to everyday life. It was like looking through a window or watching tv. He hoped Daciana and Luliana would become friends as he felt their connection. He could not understand why they rebuffed his efforts.

A connection with the girls would come with challenges for all the Vatore Vampires. Caleb hoped it was the key to helping Charlotte overcome the guilt. Yet, the girl’s avoidance meant each visit made Charlotte sink deeper into the pain. Patrick listened, fingers dug into his thighs, afraid to say something he regretted. Caleb thought abandoning children was a positive decision considering his vampire lifestyle. To Patrick, this decision was self-serving. Allowing children to feel neglected was barbaric. Parents should have unconditional love, and accept their humanity. Vampires were monsters to think this denial of their existence was acceptable. Caleb could not love the girls despite what he said. How could he? They were strangers to each other. As for how Charlotte behaved, it concerned Patrick. Aside from the uncontrolled hissing, it appeared she was not bonding with any child. Had he and Caleb been candid in conversation, they could have agreed on this.

Regret had its place at the barbecue. Charlotte, her swollen ankles and pregnant stomach, felt it all. She tried not to think of the future, where she would outlive the older two children. The day would come when her lack of ageing meant they could no longer be a part of each other’s lives. Charlotte would, should have been, forced to watch from the shadows as life moved on without her. She recognized the reality behind why she should not have a connection with her old human life.

She sat apart from the family, watching Daciana and Luliana play on the pirate ship. The younger twins were hovering near Patrick, keen to taste the food. Caleb was ready with plasma ketchup, a sauce Cornelius would drink straight from the bottle. Despite the family picture, Charlotte felt the fractures. Each crack in her soul let in more of the darkness she was fighting back. These moments would soon disappear, and it would be her and Caleb. Both were unprepared to say goodbye forever, although Caleb refused to admit it. Charlotte wanted to see her siblings, old and grey. Witness her daughters graduate high school, fall in love and have families. There was no regret in her choice to become a vampire. She did love Caleb and wanted the life he promised. A dozen offspring all at once, however, had not been the plan.

Children Pose

Family Picnic Poses

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