Author Ryuki Mao gives us a unique take on the life cycle of a vampire. It seems even the immortal get growing pains.
Translated by Hamish Smith
I’m tired of sleeping alone.
Won’t someone lie beside me?
The vampire princess
~The girl who was waiting to wake up~
The young girl sighed as she gazed up into the darkness of the night. The darkness that she couldn’t do without. She had started to think how the darkness also begot creeping feelings of loneliness.
“Come on. It’s time to wake up,” she said as she poked the bat lying next to her. She spoke with a lisp. The bat opened its sleepy eyes and met her gaze. Outwardly she looked no more than ten years old. She had clear blue eyes and beautiful blonde hair as fine as thread. The bat wondered if the people of this town would realise that she was a vampire at all.
“I’m hungry. Let’s eat,” said the girl. The bat sighed and fluttered through the air over to the young girl. The girl puffed her cheeks with dissatisfaction.
“Will a young lady do?” asked the bat.
“I want to suck the blood of a young man!”
“No. I’m tired of luring young men. You’ll have a woman,” said the bat before disappearing into the darkness.
“It’s not fair. That bat is going to take the first bite anyway.” The girl looked annoyed as she brushed back strands of hair from her face.
She wouldn’t survive in this world without that bat. She didn’t know how to properly feed herself. She would continue to sleep and before long someone would tear open her coffin, stab her with a stake and her fate would be death, or so she had been told by her friends of the night.
Her home was where she slept, and where she slept was an abandoned house in the middle of town. The sound of the door creaking open echoed through the building. Instinctively she ran towards the entrance of the house without letting her footsteps make a sound.
“That was quick,” she said. An unexpected figure reflected in her eyes from the stair case just as she spoke those words.
She quickly realised what it was and ran out of the room and down the connecting hall.
“He-Hey! Wait!” said a man. The girl realised she had been spotted as soon as she heard his surprised voice.
A human. A human here of his own accord. An adult male at that!
“If a human ever sees you, they will first try to help you,” the bat had once warned her, “And the human will want to take you into the light, saying it’s for your own good.”
“I’ll die if that happens!” the girl had cried with fear.
“It’s one thing that a grown human who finds a child your age in an abandoned house would do. Not all humans are the same,” the bat had said.
This is bad!
The girl shot down the hall, jumped towards the roof and hid inside a chandelier. She held her breath and waited for the man to disappear.
“He-Hey!” The man’s eyes darted in all directions as he walked around the room.
Go on, get out of here you fool
The girl held on to the chandelier and glared down at the man.
Go away. Hurry up and go home. I’m getting hungry…
She pulled herself back as she watched the man walk right underneath her. She followed him with her eyes.
You can’t ignore an urge, and there was no way she could make herself ignore the prey right before her eyes. What lay before her was prey, even if he wouldn’t treat her as anything else but a little girl. His body was a walking store-house of that sweet liquid. That’s what was going through her mind the moment she jumped down from the chandelier and into the hall. The man turned towards the girl at the sound of the chandelier moving.
“Where were you?” asked the man. The girl smiled and walked towards the man as he spoke.
“Cuddles,” said the girl in a childish manner. The man smiled back and held his hands out to the girl. He picked the girl clean up off the ground. She found herself feeling a little perplexed as she gazed at her foolish prey, who was smiling to himself. He gently held her close, the arteries in his neck pulsing right in front of her mouth.
So … thirsty
The girl narrowed her eyes and swallowed. She moved in close to his pulsing neck, the fangs in her mouth inviting her to partake.
Time to eat
“So you don’t have any parents, then?” his sudden words pulled the girl back to reality. “Where’s your mommy and daddy?” asked the man. She turned her head in the direction of the voice. The man was smiling and waiting for her to answer.
The girl could feel herself become overwhelmed. She should have sunk her teeth into him when she had the chance.
“Did they leave you here all alone? This house is in tatters, isn’t it? Is this your secret hiding place?” he asked, looking straight at the girl with earnest eyes.
“Yeah,” muttered the girl with a nod, not directly answering the man’s question. Just as she thought, the man choose which of his own answers to believe.
Foolish human…my bat will be back in a little while. I’ll let him distract you. And then… then I will drink
The girl had answered the man’s question only to humour him.
Hurry, hurry home, before the man gets away
The moon was shining high in the sky as the man sat next to the little girl. She sat there next to the man and patiently listened to what he had to say. Her mouth cracked open, little by little. The man was absolutely broke. The next day he would be driven out of the home he had been renting. He had no job, no lover, had failed everyone, but he wasn’t trying to blame anyone else.
“Well, you know, it’s just terrible timing. It’s not really anyone’s fault.” The man laughed as he spoke, a soft smile of defeat on his face. The little girl sat silent, listening. For this girl who had slept so long, who had never left the house, the things that he spoke of were quite difficult to comprehend.
“You’re a good girl,” the man said with a smile, patting her on the head. “If I ever had someone to look after, I would do anything for them,” the man finished as he gave the girl a hug. “I’m worn out.” His final words found their way to the girl’s ears.
“…I want to die. Living is painful if you have no one to blame but yourself. I don’t have the strength to keep on living after all that’s happened. I can’t go on any more. But…”
A complex emotion seeped into the little girl’s heart. There was a simple way to fix this man’s problem.
“You should kill him,” said the bat. They spoke telepathically so that the man couldn’t hear. The little girl jerked her head up in the direction of the echoing voice. The bat had hidden himself away in the dilapidated house. Some place the man couldn’t see. “Right now, suck his blood and he will die.”
“…but he won’t die. Not die, he will…”
“This human, this man will die.”
“But he’ll still remember his past!” The young girl cried in her mind as she shot to her feet The man looked at her with wide eyes and held her by the hand. Before the man had a chance to ask what was wrong, the little girl had turned to face the bat.
“You know damn well! I’m not strong enough yet! I’m not powerful enough to suck away his memories! There is no way we could live together with him still remembering everything!”
“Well you’d have a friend, wouldn’t you? You’ve always wanted a friend to come and be by your side, haven’t you?” said the bat.
The little girl swallowed her words and looked up at the man who had been looking down at her with a confused look in his eyes.
If I suck his blood now…
“What’s the matter? Did something frighten you?” asked the man, eternally gentle. The girl realized that she couldn’t bring herself to quench her thirst and feed her hunger with the blood of this man.
“There will be something better out there for you once you leave this town,” said the little as girl snuggled into the man, sobbing. He wrapped his arms around her.
“What’s gotten into you?” as soon as the man spoke, he lost conciousness. She wiped the trickle of blood from her mouth and looked up at the bat with teary eyes.
“You should drink. If you want me to, I can kill him and you can make the blood of this human your own.”
“Are you telling me what to do?” the girl glared up at the bat and wiped tears from her eyes.
“Just, go and put this human in a park or somewhere!” The little girl produced a paper bag and stuffed it into the man’s pocket.
“Is that the currency that the humans use?” asked the bat. The little girl glared up at him. The bat let out a little sigh, and lead the human, who had risen to his feet as if possessed, out of the abandoned house.
The little girl looked down at her slender wrists. They began to grow in the light of the moon. When did the bat say it would happen? When does a vampire grow? “When you find yourself the kind of prey you want to keep, when your heart starts to care,” the bat’s words wisped through her mind. “A grown-up vampire has to fool his heart to rid himself of those conflicted emotions.” Her long blonde hair grew and tangled over her chest.
“I’ve put him somewhere.” The little girl looked up at the echoing voice above her head.
“You’ve become a beautiful young woman,” said the bat. It floated down in front of the girl’s chest and perched itself on her outstretched arms.
“If you’re able to grow, then you are also finally able leave this place. Do you want to go to another town?”
She just nodded. The vampire who had just turned from a little girl into a woman simply nodded.
“Let’s go to a town where the humans are easier to drink,” said the girl.
A beautiful, beautiful vampire. But what she really wished for was something trivial. What she wanted was someone. Someone who would always be by her side, no through magic control, but because they wanted to.
She wanted someone all to herself.
English translation © 2015 Hamish Smith. All rights reserved.