Chapter 9. Origins I

“Benji, I want to show you something. Something I’ve never shown anybody before.”

My roommate led me through the streets, our footsteps echoing plaintively on the cobblestone in our otherwise eerily silent neighborhood. The closer we got to the end of the road, the more choked the land became with mist and gravestones.

And for a moment, I though he was taking me to Count Straud’s mansion, and I almost panicked (that guy makes my skin crawl). But then Zell veered left into a graveyard.

Zell paused in front of a headstone. “This… is Tetsu.”

Zell looked at me sadly. “He was someone I cared about very much, until the Count took him from me.”

“Zell,” I started. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t know-“

He took a deep breath, tears welling in his eyes. “Benji, I want to tell you everything. I want to tell you the story of how I became a vampire.”

Origins I

“I was new in town. I didn’t know anybody, and I had nowhere to go. That’s when I saw him, standing at the door to his mansion.”

“I had no money, no home, and no food. When I met Vlad, I was literally eating a slice of pizza I had dug up on a beach somewhere.”

“I had never seen such a beautiful home with such exquisite paintings. My favorite, an undoubtedly priceless piece, was a portrait of a dark handsome young man.”

“And Vlad was so generous- he immediately offered me a place to stay, for one small price.”

“He told me how lucky he was that I showed up at his doorstep. He hadn’t left his house in so long, and had been misunderstood by others for so long, that he had forgotten what it was like to have a companion.”

“And I felt for him.”

“Because no one deserves to feel alone.”

“Vlad had his quirks, but he was gracious and he never asked for much- at least in the beginning. He gave me the finest room I have ever slept in.”

“Together, we cooked the most delicious meals. His favorite was chocolate cake, although I never saw him take a bite. He would just sit there and watch me eat it.”

“And he loved to play his pipe organ, and would ask that I sing for him.”

“But a few days later, I awoke with the strangest hunger.”

“A hunger for blood. And that’s when everything changed.”

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