My brother’s a vampire; in fact my entire family is. Well, they were turned into vampires. And before you say The Prince of Darkness is a myth, well, I’m here to tell you that you’re talking through your butt. I’m Jessica and I’ve been in
for a little under a year; and all I’ve seen is some really weird stuff goin’ on. It’s a little wonder nobody’s noticed it before! So, I’m tellin’ you all now. Brisbane
We moved from
Sydney to New Farm here in last year, 2009. It was just after Christmas and before New Year’s Eve, so we were going to call in the New Year in another state. My older brother was stoked that he was going to a University that wasn’t far from the city centre and I was just as stoked that my high school was actually in the city centre. Brisbane had a tropical feel to it too with its horrible heat and dreadful storms. But the house we were going to stay in was what they called a Queenslander. It was big, had a wrap-around verandah and looked like it was baking hot with the tin roof reflecting the sun off it. But surprisingly, the place was lovely and cool inside. Once all the doors and windows were opened and screens were locked down, the place got a nice feel to it; and nobody wanted to leave. We didn’t find an air-conditioner anywhere; but then, we didn’t think we’d needed it. Brisbane
About an hour after we arrived, the removal van did and all our stuff was delivered to the right rooms. My room overlooked the back of the land which seemed to keep going for a long way. Massive oaks, willows and towering Ghost Gums grew along the boundary of our land; making it appear bigger than it really was. We had a vegetable garden, a large shed and separate garage and lots of land around us; why I didn’t know.
“Hey, sis, what do you reckon?” Richard asked from my door.
I turned from the French doors that were my windows now, “It’s all so big for such a small city.”
Wiping a damp washcloth over his face and hair, he smiled, “Yeah, I know. In a few days, I’m going to go exploring around this place.”
“Why is this house on such a big piece of land?” I asked.
He shrugged, “It might be Heritage Listed and they can’t touch it.”
I nodded, “Or the company owns it and they won’t sell it.”
My brother smiled, “Too true. I’m gettin’ somethin’ to eat, coming?”
Glancing back out into the midday heat again, I nodded before leaving my room, “Yeah.”
Our school holidays passed slowly and we explored as Richard said we were going to. It didn’t take much to do this. And yet, we spent hours climbing the trees around the boundary and we found a dam that was on the property which was sheltered by some of the Oaks, Willows and another tree I didn’t know the name of. I took dozens of photos of the place and had begun a blog for my friends in Sydney (much to their relief). Then, I was taken shopping for school stuff and Richard went to orientation at the
University of Queensland at . St Lucia
Within the week, we were ready to go back to school and uni, and Mum and Dad had gotten their work plans back in order. And the best thing was that we were also going to a next door neighbour’s house for a New Year’s Eve party. Kind of like a ‘Welcome to the Neighbourhood’ Party really, but they said it would be fun to meet us.
This would be the last time I’d see Richard for a long time.
The party was really cool. There was music, food and drink and I tried to make a good impression on the girls I was going to go to school with. But they were from the Bad Girl Groups; so I just played it cool and decided right there that I’d find other friends once I arrived at the school grounds a few weeks later. Besides, I left the party a little after midnight and walked home on my own. We were next door, so I thought to go to bed and let Mum and Dad have their fun.
The next afternoon came around and Mum popped her head in the room, “Jess, have you see your brother?”
I looked up from reading my latest find at a charity store, “Nope. Not since early last night.”
She nodded, “Okay. I’m just looking for him.”
“I could ask next door.” I slotted a bookmark into my place in the book and sat up, “He could have stayed there or around the place by accident.”
“Nah, he wouldn’t do that.” She shook her head, “I’ll find him.”
“Mum, we don’t know anyone around here.” I walked to the front door, “I’ll go and ask them.”
My walk to the neighbour’s house seemed longer in the day time than it did in the night. It must have been the dreadful heat. But as I made it to the front door, I had the feeling the house was empty; and I don’t mean, they’ve just gone out for a while, I mean vacant. I walked around the verandah and looked through the window to find that all the furnishings were gone. Everything single thing that made a house a home had been stripped of this place. I walked to the garage and peered through the window and the cars were gone as well as all the gardening tools, ride-on lawnmower and anything else that made that garage an everyday man’s tool-shed delight!
I pulled out my phone and called home, “Mum. I’m next door and they’re gone.”
“Well go back later on and ask about Richard.”
“No, you don’t understand. Everything they own is gone. The furnishings, wall-hangings, cars, tools… everything is gone.” I said as I looked around the empty property and realised that the garden statues were also picked up too, “Even the garden has been stripped of its statues.”
“Oh my god. Well, where’s Richard?”
“Have you tried his phone?” I asked.
“Hang up and I will.”
I did and walked around the place a bit more. And the more I looked, the more of the items and what I’d usually see around a place had disappeared overnight. These people’s house had been so well-established that I couldn’t believe they would up and leave without so much as a goodbye. They had thrown a wicked party last night with around fifty people there… I began retracing my night here… then after midnight, I went home. I had been tired from that day; it had been so hot. My phone rang again.
“Mum? Did you find him?”
Her voice sounded like she had been crying, “No. His phone rang the first few times, then it went to message bank.”
“Call the police. Tell them what’s happened.” I said, “I’ll be home really soon; this place is giving me the creeps.”
By the time I got home, a police car was pulling into the driveway. I thought of running, but it was such a hot day it wasn’t an option. Once I got inside, they were sitting down with Mum and she was trying to remember what had happened the night before, but found it was ‘all a blur’.
I sat with her, “You don’t remember?”
She looked at me, “Do you?”
“Sure.” I looked at the police, “We were invited to neighbourhood party, we went. It was full of around fifty people with music, food and whole thing. Some girls I was going to go to school with tried to get me to do something horrible; but I wasn’t into it. At midnight, I came home.” I looked at Mum, “You, Dad and Richard were still there. But when I woke this morning, you were all home; except Richard.”
The police wrote down what I said and looked at me, “And now the house next door is empty?”
“Yeah. There’s nothing left. No furnishings, no cars, no statues in the garden. Nothing.” I said, “I could feel it was vacant, not just people gone for a while, but vacant.”
The constable sighed, “We’ve had a spate of these lately; and we don’t know what to do with them. But you do have a recent photo of Richard?”
I dug out my camera, “Yeah, I took one the other day.” I plugged it into the laptop after finding it for the cop, he uploaded it into a new folder he had created. We were another case for him to figure out. As the photo came up on the screen, I noticed a white light by Richard’s shoulder, “What’s that? That wasn’t in the shot when I took it.”
The constable rubbed an open hand down his face as he groaned, “Not again.”
“What do you mean?” Mum asked.
“We’ve seen these before and they’re not good.” He muttered. Then, he turned to me, “If you see your brother, run.”
“Just do it.”
I never understood why he told me to do that. Not when it involved my own brother. But the advice was more or less forgotten when I went to school a week later. It was different being there, but it was good to be away from the house where everything reminded me of Richard. Here in an all-girls school, I had no reminders just a life of trying to fit in and learning. The strange thing was: I never saw the girls from the party here at Brisbane Girls Grammar. It was as though they never existed, but I made it into a group who were wickedly cool and really out there, but not overly popular. But I missed my brother to talk to at night. Mum and Dad were very quiet at the dinner table and I started to wish we had never moved in the first place; this made me blog more to my friends.
Six months passed and my grades were going okay. The stress of thinking about my brother a lot was somehow not affecting them too much; and
’s Winter was a brief cold snap for about a fortnight, which I loved. Brisbane
One afternoon, I had a free class at the end of the day and came home early. The bus dropped me off down the road a bit and I walked along to the house. Our next door neighbours’ house was still eerily vacant and I hated looking at it; as I felt there was something really wrong with it now. But as I arrived at our house, I saw somebody sitting on the glider on the verandah. Opening the gate, I watched them stand up.
“Oh, shit. Richard.” I whispered as I let the gate slam close I began to run towards the house. It wasn’t until he took a few tentative steps forward that I skidded to a stop along the gravel walk and remembered what the cop had told me.
‘If you see your brother, run.’
“Jess!” he called, “Come here!”
I couldn’t help myself as tears welled in my eyes and I began to cry. My brother was home! I began to run toward him again, up the steps and jumped at him, hugging him as I knocked him over.
“Hey, take it easy!” He pealed off my school port and pushed it to one side as he heard me crying and sat us both up.
Sniffing, I sat back, “You smell different. Why do you smell different? And you’re dressed exactly the same as you were when you disappeared.”
Richard sat cross-legged, “You hesitated.”
“I was advised to run from you.”
He shot me a scared look, “You were?”
I nodded, “Yeah. The cop didn’t tell us why. He looked like he had dealt with something horrible before and didn’t want to again.”
He nodded, “Yep. Well, I vanished for a reason.”
“Are you back for good?”
“I need you to go home.” He said.
“I am home.”
He shook his head, “No. I mean
. And stay there.” Sydney
“I don’t understand.”
Looking to his hands, my brother began to cry, “I’ve done some horrible things, Jessica… dreadful, horrible things. Things you’d hate me for.”
I touched his shoulder, “Richard…”
Suddenly he slapped my hand away, growling at me as he looked up. His features had changed completely. Yellow, hungry eyes regarded me as hellishly long canines slid down from his upper jaw. Tears of blood stained his cheeks. He quickly covered his face but it was too late, I couldn’t erase what I had seen from my memory.
“What happened to you? I mean you disappeared on New Years Eve and suddenly show up now? What’s occurred between then and now?” I asked.
Richard looked at me again and I cringed, but his face was back to normal, “I went to the neighbour’s party for about an hour or so. Then, I took off to a university party. Dad let me so I could have a good social life and make friends before beginning uni.” He stared out at the sunny Winter day, “I’ll never go out in the sun again because of that uni party.”
“You were sired?”
He regarded me and smiled, “That’s right, you’re a vampire fan. You know the terminology. That means, you know how to get me out of this.”
“Kill the head vampire… that is if you know who they are.”
My brother’s smile vanished as fast as it had appeared, “I don’t. But it’s dangerous for you to be here in
“The Bad Girl Group who approached you on New Years Eve; you remember them?”
“Yeah.” My gut turned cold as I answered, “They were vamps?”
He nodded, “They were testing us out as a brother and sister duo. You didn’t pass the test, but I did.”
“So, what now? You kill me and it all goes the way they want?” I frowned.
He looked at me, “That’s what they want. But I’m going to make my own rules.” He looked around a bit and realised he was going to be stuck here for the next few hours, “Can I come in?”
“Well… initially, if you do, you can come and go as you please then.” I said, “It renders me and our parents powerless against you.”
“Not even garlic affects me?”
“No. You can eat that.”
“Oh… wasn’t told this little loophole.” He smiled. Then, suddenly, he stared straight into my eyes as he moved closer so his face was all I saw.
The next thing I knew I had opened the front door and said “Come in, Richard.” I stopped, frowned and muttered, “Oh, shit.”
He turned from the hall grinning, “Thanks sis.”
I gave him a filthy look as he smiled, “Why?”
His grin fell from his face as he approached me, “Because I want to show you how easy it was for me to do that. I’m hungry and I need to feed.”
“Do you have any meat in the fridge?” he asked.
I closed the front door, dumped my school port by my bedroom door and walked into the kitchen. As I opened the fridge, I felt my hair being moved gently, as he smelt my neck, “Richard, get off me. I’m your sister.”
“And we’re the same blood type.”
Staring at him, I realised I really was in a lot of danger. But it wasn’t the type I thought it was. I was in danger of being sired by my brother… like eeeew! I looked in and found the meat he most probably could’ve scented from a mile away and grabbed the plate, “There’s your meal – blood and all – touch me and I’ll stake ya.”
“Paralyse; but if I don’t take it out, it can kill you.” I slammed the fridge door and walked away, “And you never know, I may leave it in if you ever touch me that way again!”
“You better be.” I grabbed my port and went to my room to start up the internet and grabbed down a few books I had collected about vampires.
A knock at the door sounded and he stood there looking humble, “I put out more meat for Mum and Dad from the freezer. It ought to be defrosted by tonight. It’s in the fridge.”
“Okay. Hey I found a few little things you can do to make it easier on yourself.” I waved my hand to him and even though he lifted his foot to enter the room, it seemed that he ran into an invisible sheet of glass, “Oh, you need to be invited in here to? I suppose so, come in.”
He sighed, “I’m sorry I did that. I really did need to feed.”
“Not off me.” I replied firmly as I spun the book around to face him, “There.”
He read quickly and smiled, “Thank you, sis.”
“Are you back for good?” I asked.
He looked up from the book, “Let’s keep me a secret for a while until I get myself figured out, okay?”
“Okay. But you know what I’m like with secrets. With those two in the house, it’s hard to keep them.” I sighed.
He touched my hand and smiled, “I know.” Richard looked at the tender inner flesh of my arm and swallowed thickly before looking away and letting my hand go, “This is going to be very hard.”
“Feed before you get here next time.”
It wasn’t long after that Richard made his appearance known to Mum and Dad as well. Actually, it was purely by accident. We thought we were alone in the house; as Mum and Dad had delved themselves into work at the office; and I was often alone until around 9pm. Not only that, but Mum was looking terribly tired every day; Dad wasn’t doing so hot either. But they kept on working harder than ever to keep themselves sane. This included longer and longer hours. So, I often ate alone; this was the time Richard would show up to keep me company. And he did find that feeding before he arrived worked; he found me less tempting. But he never vamped out on me again, well he tried not to. Anyway, I was starting to find it was cool having my own immortal bodyguard around the house. It made me feel more secure even if he could snap my neck like a toothpick and drink my blood like wine.
The night when our folks came home early was like any other. I had made some baked beans on toast and pulled out a couple of good horror movies from the DVD collection that Richard had. He had been hiding in bathroom for a while as I ate. But after I finished and washed up, I knocked on the door and he came out. He and I were sitting there taking in ‘Dracula 2000’ when the front door opened and Mum stood there with her mouth propped opened.
“Oh, shit.” He muttered as we both prised ourselves from the bloodthirsty screen of gore.
I looked down covering my face, “Crap!”
“Richard.” Dad muttered.
“Jess, run.” Mum ordered, “Remember what the cop said. Run.”
I got up and walked to her, “He’s not here to hurt us.”
“He’s dangerous.” She pointed her briefcase at her son.
“Do you know what he actually is? Did the cop tell you? If he did, well, he didn’t tell me.”
She stood there looking at Richard as he rose from the lounge slowly and walked over to stand behind me; knowing if he got any closer Mum would freak out and begin screaming her head off.
“No. He didn’t tell me, but you know don’t you?” she said.
“Yes.” I nodded. Then, I looked at Dad who was smiling at Richard yet not saying a word, “And Dad knows too.”
Dad slowly regarded me, “I know what?”
“By that look on your face, you know what Richard is; but I’m not going to say it, you are.”
Dad looked over at Richard as he shook his head, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“And you’re a lousy liar Dad.” Richard said, “We’re the same blood type.”
I spun, “You sired him?”
Richard blushed, “You didn’t want to be.”
“That’s because it’s… eeeww!” I shuddered.
“Would you rather another vamp did it?” Dad asked, “We can organise one.”
Mum sidled around to stand next to me as her eyes widened, “You mean to say that I’ve been sleeping next a half-dead guy?”
I nodded, “Pretty much.”
She looked at me and sighed, “So, the mornings I’ve been feeling drained is because…”
“He’s been feeding off you all night; you just don’t remember it.” I said, “And you wanted me to be friends with those Gothic girls at the party; who are also vamps.”
Mum dropped her briefcase and sunk into a nearby chair at the dining table, “Is that why there’s so many people at work who have night shift on a permanent basis?”
Dad nodded, “Yes. They’re all blood-suckers.”
“But why did Richard go missing for six months?”
Richard smiled, “I was what they called a snack. I enjoyed the thrill of being bitten; yet it was something taken too far on New Years Eve by a greedy Brisbane Vamp.” He blushed, “They are little more violent up here and a little more self-centered.”
“Up here?” Mum asked.
I turned and looked at my brother, “What do you mean? You told me to get my butt to
. You told me I’d be safe. Now, there’s different legions of vampires in each capital city?” Sydney
Richard looked down, ashamed he hadn’t told me the whole truth, “I’m sorry, Jessica.” He looked at me again, “I really didn’t mean to lie or not tell you everything. I’m your brother and I should have.”
I walked over to him as Mum tried to grab me, “You must remember that you used to be a human. The real you is still in there somewhere. Stop ignoring it.”
“So, how did you sire your father?” Mum sounded tired as she rubbed her forehead with her fingertips, “I’d like to know.”
Richard sat on the redwood coffee table and looked to the floor, “Dad was hunted down and brought to me. He was supposed to be my first kill.”
“You’re what?” Dad glared at him.
Richard gave him a helpless look, “But I didn’t. I couldn’t. So, I sired you instead. They just think I killed you. I asked for privacy, untied him and took him somewhere else to sire him. Dad was okay until he came back home and you had to cook his meat bloody each time.”
Mum looked over at the two men and shook her head, “You do realise that we can’t live under the same roof anymore.” She looked at me, “Not with her in the house.”
I looked at her wondering where she was going with this, “What are talking about Mum?”
She rose from her chair and smiled, “Your stupid father did the dumbest thing. He got greedy.”
Richard moved toward me as I edged toward him, “Jess.”
“Richard, what do I do?”
I looked at him briefly, “You’re nuts, right? I can’t. You all have it over me… super strength, brilliant speed and by the way you can see in the dark.”
“Shit.” He muttered as he grabbed my arm gently, “And they haven’t fed yet.”
“Now you tell me.” I whispered.
“I need you to move fast.” He said.
“I’m only gonna go at human pace… not yours.”
“Go!” he pushed me toward the lounge where I vaulted over it, climbed up the chair Mum had been sitting at, over the kitchen table and jumped, landing in a squat. Springing towards my room, I heard them fighting to get to me. Once in my room, I slammed the door and hung the garlic necklace over the doorknob in the vain effort that would keep them away. The first things I grabbed were the laptop, charger and usb memory sticks and my camera. I shoved all of that into my travel backpack I usually take on buses with me. Then, I grabbed my phone, all my cards I’d use and house keys from
(nope didn’t hand any of them back to my friends. They told me I was welcome back any time). Two empty journals were next along with my pencil case and my two pairs of reading glasses. I took a few photos of my bedroom and grabbed my wand, Book of Shadows and pentagrams and shoved them into the side pocket. The last thing was money. I pulled the nose of my Sydney money box pig out and pulled out as much of the folding money as I could from it and shoved it into my large money pouch; along with some gold coins. Then, I was set. As soon as I zipped it up, the door was kicked and I nearly crapped myself. Suddenly, the bathroom door opened and my brother stood there with his hand out. Without thinking, I took it and as my bedroom door was kicked in, we made tracks through his room and out of his French doors and into the darkness of the yard. New Zealand
I woke at the university. Another person was watching me instead of my brother; and by the smell of him, it was another vamp. I was beginning to hate them. He sat in a chair across the room from me looking at my face with an expression of hatred on his.
“Oh, you’re awake.” He muttered, “So, you’re Richard’s mortal sister.”
“Yeah.” I sat up and yawned feeling sore from performing the lounge room gymnastics the night before, “I really should stretch more. Last night wasn’t good for me.”
He snorted, “You’re only a human. Why can’t we sire you?”
“I’m also a witch. The two don’t mix if my research is correct.”
The vamp rose, turned into a blur and suddenly was in my face transformed into the creature he had become. This was beginning to not scare me as I had seen Richard transform into the demon so often I was used to it, “You are.”
“If your little trick is supposed to scare me, it doesn’t.” I said, “What does scare me is that Brisbane Vamps are a lot ruder than
ones. You have yet to introduce yourself.” Sydney
He turned away from me and paced the room like a caged lion, “I am Andrew.”
“Jessica.” I looked around the room and found there wasn’t a mirror to be seen anywhere, “I guess I’ll be doing my hair by feel.”
“You’re a smartarse bitch.” He said.
“You’re rude a hell.” I said, “Where’s Richard?”
“At class.” He said, “We still study around this place. But he wants you to stay here until he comes back. I’m just guarding you.”
“Okay.” I muttered.
“There’s stuff in the fridge.” Andrew sat down in the chair again.
Opening the bar fridge, I found bags of blood piled up on the shelves. Just the sight of them made me feel like throwing up. Suddenly, I wasn’t so hungry anymore. I was angry and I turned on Andrew. He sat in the easy-chair grinning at my distaste.
“Can I leave?”
“Thought so.” Slamming the door, I sat on the bed with my back against the wall knowing I was now a prisoner.
Not long after, Richard came back. I was trying to write about this experience and failing; so he saw my journal on the bed with my pencil case next to it and sighed. He looked at Andrew and gestured toward the door.
“At fuckin’ last.” He grunted, “She’s hungry too.”
“Why didn’t you get her some food? I gave you money.” Richard said.
“I guarded her. I’m not going to feed her.” he muttered.
Richard raced from the room and came back within what seemed like seconds with a packet of chips and a freshly made sandwich, “I always keep some food around so people don’t get sus about me.”
I grabbed the sandwich and bit in, “Great, thank you.”
“Stash the chips; they’ll keep.” He smiled as he watched me eat every scrap of the sandwich. Then, he closed and locked the door and looked away from me for a long moment. When he looked back, the demon had shown itself; this was something I was used to seeing until he sat next to me, “I have to do something you’ll hate. But I’ll only do it the once because I need to get you away from here.”
Tears welled in my eyes, “Richard no, please.”
“And seeing I took anything sharp off you while you slept, you can’t stake
” He said softly. But the words washed over me as all I could see were those horrible, sharp teeth playing hide’n’seek behind his lips, “And you’re looking at my teeth and nothing else.” me.
I looked down, “You’re scaring me. I’m your sister, Richard. This is how it happened to you.”
His eyes dropped from my face to his shoes for a moment then he looked back at me, “I know. I remember. I won’t make the same mistake that stupid vamp did.” He put out his hand, “Give me your arm.”
I tried to stop my limb from moving. Really I did. I commanded it to stay put, but it seemed to move by its own accord; and I hated my mind for being so easily swayed. I covered my eyes with my other hand as I burst into tears and Richard closed his eyes to take in the scent of my blood, “Jesus fuckin’ Christ.”
“Don’t struggle, Jess. It’s best if you don’t fight; it’ll hurt less.” His whisper reached my ears as I felt him quickly bite into an artery and drink. My heart rate pounded rapidly in my ears and I smacked my head against the wall. Taking deep breaths I pleaded for him to stop. And he did. As he looked at me, my brother realised he couldn’t do this to me, “I gotta get you outa here. I’m a danger to you.”
The train station was crowded as we stood on the platform. We had gone back to the house and collected as much of my stuff as we could before coming here. Richard had bought me a one way ticket back to
and told me to stay with friends until he comes to me and we’d start fresh. With my one large suitcase and backpack, I didn’t need to put it in the luggage hold. Sydney
“I’ll e-mail you.” I said.
“No. Send a postcard.” He smiled, “Then, Mum and Dad can’t track you.”
He handed over my ticket and I pocketed it, “I’m gonna miss you, Jess.”
“And you too, bro.”
He put his arms out to hug me and I held him close. But as I went to pull away, I felt his embrace tighten and he bit into my neck hard, drinking all I had. Richard guzzled and fed until there was nothing else left and I blacked out.
I awoke in familiar surroundings. The train. Richard sat across from me smiling… the bastard. I hated him for doing this.
“How did you feed me blood?”
“I waited until we were on here. I told the security guys you were overwhelmed by the excitement bought another ticket to come with you.” He laughed, “After all, I have to train you.”
“Aaaw, sis… I love you too.” He leaned over and patted my arm, “And could you do me one thing when we arrive?”
“Make sure you’re invited into all of your friends’ homes so you can sire some of them too? We need to keep this in the family.” He grinned.
“Speaking of which, where is Mum and Dad?”
“Dead.” He just couldn’t wipe that grin off his face could he?
Once we arrived in
and I showed up at one of my friends’ places, I got invited in, but I don’t ever want them to know what I turned into. I wanted them safe. Sydney
But I didn’t stay.
I returned to
to find the head vampire. I want my old life back; even if it’s for a little while. So, I’m here searching for the one who has turned half of this city into the undead and brought it to its knees. I want to stop this holiday destination from becoming a missing persons destination. Brisbane
I have advised my friends that if they ever come to
to look me up; so I can keep them safe, not so I can feed off them. And here’s my problem with my friends: they all think I’m nuts. When I was staying with them, they didn’t see me eat anything. Brisbane