I am not a vampire.
My name is Miriam Blaylock. I am immortal and I must drink living human blood to survive, but I am not a vampire. I walk in the sunlight. I have a reflection and I cast a shadow. I do not eat garlic, but this is through choice, not neccessity.
Like vampires, I have the ability to make others like me. However, unlike vampires...
Well. It's a long story. Do you have the time?
I have said it already, I am not a vampire. I have no words to describe what I am. We shall call my kind 'non-human humanoids', for want of a better phrase. Or rather, 'a non-human humanoid'. I am the last one.
There were more, once. Long ago. I had a father I loved very much, and brothers and sisters I adored, but they are all dead.
And my mother? Well. John Keats said it better than I or anybody else ever could.
She was a gordian shape of dazzling hue,
Vermilion-spotted, golden, green, and blue;
Striped like a zebra, freckled like a pard,
Eyed like a peacock, and all crimson barr'd;
And full of silver moons, that, as she breathed,
Dissolv'd, or brighter shone, or interwreathed
Their lustres with the gloomier tapestries -
So rainbow-sided, touch'd with miseries,
She seem'd, at once, some penanced lady elf,
Some demon's mistress, or the demon's self.
Upon her crest she wore a wannish fire
Sprinkled with stars, like Ariadne's tiar:
Her head was serpent, but ah, bitter-sweet!
She had a woman's mouth with all its pearls complete:
And for her eyes: what could such eyes do there
But weep, and weep, that they were born so fair?
As Proserpine still weeps for her Sicilian air.
Her throat was serpent, but the words she spake
Came, as through bubbling honey, for Love's sake,
And thus; while Hermes on his pinions lay,
Like a stoop'd falcon ere he takes his prey.
My mother was Lamia, beautiful serpent-lady of the ancient myths. She passed her looks on to me with her blood; my eyes are silver beneath my blue contact lenses, and beneath my wig my hair as pale and fine as a baby's. I dress up in public because I fear imprisonment. I am not an animal, nor am I a criminal. Yes, I have killed. I admit this freely. I have killed, but I am not a murderer. One does not convict a hungry lion who kills an antelope. This is the same principle. I kill because I need to live, like everybody else.
So, to the world I am Mrs. Miriam Blaylock. John's widow. Music teacher.
In private? I am afraid to show anybody else, but I know I must.
The last person to whom I revealed my true self did not understand, and now she is suffering in eternal torment with John and Lollia and Eumenes and all the dozens of others I have loved, and still love.
I failed them. I prolonged their lives -- and, oh, we had such beautiful times, for decades and centuries -- but I cannot make another true immortal like myself, and so I made each of them a promise when their time came. I vowed never to leave them, to keep them close by me forever, and I have kept this promise.
But I hear them, when I am alone late at night. Before the Sleep comes, or just after Waking, I hear them scratching up in the attic. I know that if I went up there I'd hear them crying, and whispering, begging, tapping weakly on the lids of their coffins, because they're so hungry, and they hurt so much... and that is why I rarely go above the second floor. I cannot bear to hear them.
And that is why I am still searching for an answer. I thought Sarah had it, but she was perhaps too strong. I think she loved me back, at least a little, but her morals were too high. Her willpower was too high. She could not bear to kill another -- only herself, but of course she could not die. Not fully. She was wasted, and now I must begin my search again.
I need somebody who is strong and intelligent. Somebody who will be able to understand. And most of all? I need help. I'm tired of being alone. I want forever.