a love story
©2013 Scarecrow Fields Publishing
Celia rubbed the goosebumbs on her arms as she stared out the train window. It had rained the entire trip and most of the scenic view was obscured by thick fog.
It doesn't matter, she thought. This only adds to the ambience and mystery of my little adventure.
The details of why she had left the comforts of the city had been kept to herself. She knew good and well that everyone would be worried about her. After all, she did slip away without a word. She considered leaving a note for her mother when she stole $300 from her purse, but time was running against her. If she intended to make the train, there wouldn't be time.
In her lap sat a well worn, dog-eared copy of Bleeding Heart by Edmund Mueller. The teen romance novel was a sensation that had swept the globe. Within those pages were centuries of heartbreak that befell a youthful-looking vampire named Stephen E. Mire. Stephen had given up all hope of ever finding a partner and contemplated suicide. Everything changed when he met a beautiful, young woman who saved his life and his very soul with her love.
Like any loyal fan, Celiajoined all the fan clubs and spent hours discussing her predictions, hopes and fears for the second book in the series. She became president of her local fan club branch just as news broke of film rights being sold to a major studio.
A few months back, Celia nervously penned a letter to the author. She included an excerpt of a fan fiction piece that she was thinking of posting to the group's website. Never in a million years did she ever expect a reply, but on a windy October morning, a letter arrived from Edmund Mueller. The surprises kept coming. Also within the envelope was a signed 8 x 10 glossy of the author and a note which cordially invited her to his home for the weekend. Celia's heart nearly stopped as she read. She couldn't believe her eyes! Her hopes withered when she thought of how she'd make the trip. Unlike many of her fellow fan club members, Celia was flat broke. Another, unseen, piece of paper flopped out and landed at her feet. Her blood pressure reached an all time high as she looked upon a train ticket that had been paid in full.
Celia still had a long ride ahead of her. She tried to sleep but her brain was working at 376 miles per hour in pure excitement. Before leaving, Celia did her homework to ensure that everything was legitimate. She compared the handwriting to samples she had found online and was satisfied it was real. She had no doubt of the authenticity of the signature. It was beautiful, flowing penmabship that resembled thosethat you'd find on historical documents. That thought reminded her of the rumours. Online discussions are filled with gossip bout celebrities and Mr. Mueller wasn't exempt. His writing was filled with pain, loss and enough sorrows to last several lifetimes. The way in which he spoke of life from a hundred years ago, it was almost like he was really there at the time. It didn't take long for the question to arise. Could Edmund Mueller be a real vampire? Writing the books could be his way of coming out to the world. Maybe he's looking for his true love and this is a way to seek her out!
Celia flipped the book over to stare at the picture that adorned the rear cover. I wouldn't mind, she thought. He's certainly a handsome devil.
At the train station, she was met by a tall, older gentleman in a,well tailored, suit. She followed him to the car and was soon on the road. The picturesque town of Spooner was just as she envisioned it. The thick forests, Swan High School, it was as if she had stepped inside the book. All she needed now was a handsome vampire to sweep her off her feet.
To her surprise, the car came to a stop at an old cemetery. In the center of the property was an ancient, dilapidated structure that had been reduced to charred timber. There was a fire at some point, but from the looks of things it was many years ago.
"What are we doing here?" asked Celia."I thought you were taking me to meet-"
"I just drive and follow the instructions given to me by Mr. Mueller. This is where I was told to bring you," the driver interrupted.
"There's nothing here!"
"He's waiting for you. Follow the path and you'll find what you're looking for." With that, the driver said no more. He hopped into the car and drove away.
"What the fuck are you doing?! Hey, you can't just leave me here!"
Frustrated, Celia started looking for the path. "What fucking path? The only thing I see is tombstones and grass."
She wandered aimlessly among the headstones. The ground felt softer under her feet as she continued forward. The ground gave way with the next step. She tumbled forward into a dark pit. It seemed like she had been falling forever when she finally hit the ground below. She wheezed trying to recapture the air that had been knocked from her lungs. Dirt had blinded her eyes. She sat in the dark for several long minutes and wanted to cry; not because of being tricked by a mean old man or pain, but because she was certain her Bleeding Heart t-shirt was ruined.
"Ah, there you are," a voice said from the dark.
"Who's there?" Celia asked, filled with renewed fear.
"You must be Celia. I'm Edmund Mueller."
"Oh, my gosh!" Celia squealed, hauling herself to her feet. The pain and anger long forgotten. "It's such a pleasure to finally meet you!"
"The pleasure is all mine. My fans mean everything to me. You keep me young."
Edmund struck a match, filling the chasm with flickering, orange light. Once Celia's vision cleared, she was appalled by the sight in front of her. She was in a dusty, old room that was lined with skulls. To her left was a moldy table that held an antique typewriter. The biggest shock was the man standing before her. His face was not youthful or handsome. It was pale and had the features of a bat. Edmund opened his mouth, revealing two fangs similar to the teeth of a rat. He jerked her close and sank his teeth into her jugular. Within seconds of his feeding, Edmund's face had changed. He now looked like a healthy, young man. The blood of the youth had replenished his body, filling him with life and strength.
He licked the blood from his fingers and sat down at the table. He ften thought about writing the truth about vampires in one of his novels. He could tell the entire nasty truth. Instead he typed away on the Bleeding Heart sequel. It was what he needed. It got the widespread attention and attracted the youths of America. It was them he needed most. His fans kept him young. They loved him. This is a love story, after all, and love bites.