Here I am, a fourteen-year-old boy staring at myself in the mirror. It’s not unusual for a fourteen-year-old boy. But most young men are looking at their changing body, playing with their hair or popping pimples. Me, I’m just fixated on my retractable fangs. A few years ago, one of my caseworkers set me down and explained about my family who and what I was. I knew about my mother dying when I was born. I had to live in foster care and been bumped around all my life. Now and then I would have someone come to check on me, a so-called “guardian”. One of them came to visit me after there was an accident at one of my foster homes.
One of the kids was a real pain in the ass, his name was Tommy. He was pushing me and the other kids around. He threw a couple of punches at me and missed. I got tired of this pretty quickly. I grabbed his arm after he tried to land another punch, I felt this horrible pain in my hand, but it was replaced by this overwhelming surge of energy that made me feel powerful and before I knew it, my nails grew digging into Tommy’s arm, penetrating his skin, digging into his flesh. I let go of Tommy. He collapsed, falling to the ground, his eyes rolling back into his head as he hit the floor. I just stood back, I knew that I’d caused it but I didn’t know how, and I felt different. All my senses were stepped up a notch. I could hear everyone talking like they were in the room with us, the smells were overwhelming, I could tell that someone was smoking a cigarette close by and I could read the news paper all the way from across the room. One of the other kids came in and called for help. Everyone came running in, and they found Tommy on the floor. One of the foster parents asked me what had happened?
I told them, “I didn’t know, he came after me, and then he just collapsed.”
They told me to go to my room. They took Tommy to the Hospital for a doctor to examine him. It was about an hour later, When there was a knock on the door. Mr. Osborne, my caseworker, came into my room. I couldn’t look up at him, I knew that I was in deep shit but I didn’t know exactly what I did and why it had happened. Mr. Osborne came over and sat next to me on the bed.
Mr. Osborne asked, “How are you doing, William?”
“I’m okay, I’m in trouble aren’t I?”
“Why do you say that my boy?”
I told him, “Tommy passed out when I touched him.”
He explained, “Well, the doctor said he will be okay. Tommy passed out from exhaustion and will be fine in a few days of bed rest. No one knows what you did or what you are.”
I gave him a very curious look. “What the heck are you talking about?”
“William, you were born different from the other kids. You are what we call a halfling, you were born a supernatural entity. I work for an organization called the Feral Society. I am what our organization would call a “Renfield,” it is our job to keep an eye on other kids like yourself. Helping them adjust and blend into society.”
I was shocked by what the old man was telling me. I didn’t want to admit to myself that I was some kinda freak.
“You are crazy, I’m not different from any of the other kids.”
I was feeling uncomfortable with the conversation, so I got up and moved to the other side of the room.
He said,“You and I know that’s not true, William. How did you feel after you touched the boy downstairs? Yes, I know you grabbed his arm, there are little marks on his arm, that are very hard to see unless you know what you are looking for.”
I shook my head. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt him, so what am I?”
He told me, “You are what we call a vampeal, yes, I said it right. You’re not a vampire, the so-called “living dead,” you are a hybrid of both. You were born and not turned. Your mother was a vampire, and she died giving birth to you. It’s hard for a vampire to conceive a child let alone give birth to one, the legends are true but not always very accurate. There are vampires, werewolves, witches, fairies and lots of other things hiding in the shadows of this world.”
I could not help but fidget as he told this story. This was a lot to take in, only little over an hour ago I thought this stuff was a story told in fairy tales, and now I’m just to believe it is all true.
I asked in a condescending tone, “Am I going to start craving blood or burst into flames if I go out into the sun?”
Mr. Osborne began to laugh. “No, nothing like that. You have a soul with a heart and a stomach so you can eat regular food. You can go out in the sun but I suspect that you’d get a hell of a sunburn if you stay out for long periods of time. You will get your fangs around puberty I think. But you don’t have to drink blood to survive. Your fingernails act like fangs, there are fibers in your fingers and under your nails that absorb a person’s life energy that gives you special abilities like a vampire. Most of the time, the person passes out long before they die. But you do have to be careful so no one finds out. They may think you are a real vampire and try to drive a stake into you or cut off your head. You still can die just like the rest of us. But I think you can heal remarkably fast.”
I tried to calm down and listened to what Mr. Osborn had to say, so I came and sat on the bed that was next to mine, but I still wasn’t one hundred percent convinced.
“How do I know you’re telling me the truth about all this, and you’re not some crazy old man?”
Again he just laughed. “Yes, you should still have some life energy from the boy downstairs for a few hours, you should have super speed and strength and all your senses should be boosted to a higher level. Go right ahead and try something.”
I reached over at the brass bars on the headboard. I was amazed how they bent easily. Then I ran across the room in a blink of an eye but forgot to stop and ran right into the wall and bounced off of it, falling to the floor. I just laid there laughing.
Someone called up from downstairs, “ Is everything alright?”
Mr. Osborne looked at me, “Yes, we are fine, William just tripped.
“William, are you convinced now? You will get stronger as you get older. So now that you are coming into your gifts we will have to meet a few times a month and work on controlling your abilities.”
That happened four years ago and a few previous foster homes. After that, I got the nickname “Damien the Devil” from Tommy because he heard my middle name was Damien. I kept it and from that day forward I went by the name Damien Lampir. Even though the foster homes didn’t like me using it. Especially this one, this family is very religious. I keep wondering, knowing what I am, why would they put me in a place like this? I hear there is going to be a new boy moving in tomorrow. And now that I’m starting to have these feelings, well, feelings for other boys, as if being a vampeal wasn’t hard enough.
They are always looking at us, and they make us read the Bible every day. I don’t know how much I would be able to take of their bullshit. I hear Mr. Osborne is retiring, so I will have to talk to the new Renfield too see what can be done.