She was married, her husband, a man of great wealth was loving and kind but often away and busy with important affairs. She spent most of her time wandering the garden mazes and keeping herself company. She often came to rest beneath a large oak tree at the end of the maze, which bordered the neighboring woods.

He watched in silence there. Every day she came her eyes looking lost and alone soft sighs escaping her as she sat ritually beneath the tree. Her garnet red hair a crown upon her head, her amethysts eyes looking lonely and tinged with sadness. Often times she would fall asleep there reclining gently against the large willow tree. He would sit for hours not moving a muscle watching her as dusk deepened, admiring her sad beauty longing to touch her pale cheek.

He was from a dark family secretive and not well liked. They were known for the death and decay, which seemed to magically follow in their wake. He shook his head to clear the dark thoughts that crept unbidden into his mind. A fog swirled about him and he looked to the sky. It had grown late once more, the moon shown full and bright above him. With a start he realized she lay still beneath the tree, and he felt a rush of excitement course through him.

He breathed in deeply his acute senses picking up her warm scent. For months now he had only intended to watch her, he told himself he sought her out only to admire her beauty. It was surely not in his nature to attack innocents. There was plenty of filth in the streets to dispose of, why bring harm to innocent others.

He fought against the dark impulses that rose up within him yet he found himself moving quietly thru the night towards her. He grew still standing above her his dark cape swirling about him his cane perched ever so respectfully in his gloved hand. He admired her restful repose, as the roots of the large willow tree seemed to cradle her protectively amongst them. He stared at her closed eyes with heavy-lidded lashes and they called to him with some strange power.

Crisp leaves littering the ground began to crunch softly beneath his knees as he bent down over her. The slight noise roused her and two bright violet eyes shot open staring with shock up into his pale face. Before she could scream he placed a gloved hand over her mouth and placed his other arm around her back dragging her up against him. She struggled against him, but only for a moment, as his eyes glimmered in the darkness. Terror claimed her like a deer caught in a trap and she became frozen in agony muffled cries erupting from her. You should never be out alone at night.

Her eyes filled with agony she watched almost detached from herself as his mouth opened above her two large fangs gleaming in the moonlight. Her body winced involuntarily at the pain and his brow furrowed with concern but he continued to dig his fangs deeper into her neck. She fainted from the pain falling limp against him, and he held her with great care, lowering her darkly to the ground like a precious gift. Disgusted with himself he tore away from her neck staring down at the blood still trickling from the open wound. He felt long sleeping urges rise within him he held back a sob of pain as he tore thru her clothing, loathing the mindless needs that repulsed him yet still controlled him. Her white flesh exposed to him at last he ran his hand over its softnessÖ..his eyes gleaming softly.

She awoke with a scream, and a servant rushed thru the door with a look of confused apprehension on her face. Violet looked about with relief as she felt the soft linen nightgown covering her and the warmth of the sunís first rays streaming thru her window. Every night the nightmare came, and though the servants reassured her that she never left her chamber nor did anyone enter, she begged them to bar her windows. They shook their heads at what seemed a growing unstableness in her she had grown pale and sickly with each passing month.

Her husband away for many months, came home to find his wifeísí condition frail and her stomach heavily laden with their second child. The pregnancy seemingly was sapping all of her energy and she woke rarely. He began to sleep in a separate chamber out of care for her delicate condition. Strange hallucinations were constantly filling her mind and she woke often in terror. He asked the doctor in growing panic to visit every day. Yet the doctor could only assure the worried man and his staff that the babe was strong and well within her. He held himself silent and vague when questioned on the mothersí condition. All hoped that with the end of the pregnancy their mistress would return to her former self though many felt a strange gloom creeping thru the house as each day passed bringing them closer to the babes impending arrival.

On the eighth morning in January the stillness was broken by a piercing scream ringing out thru the house. The winds picked up with hellish fury and a storm fast approached as a long labor began its deadly draining on the mistress of the house. Many wary hours later as panic grew amongst the father and the doctor a last scream of agony finally birthed a strange green haired child leaving the mother struggling to speak her last words her breath raspy and slow. With a last rush of air the name Willow escaped as her final gift to the tiny green haired infant. The infantsí shrill cry rang thru her fatherís ears as he grasped her tightly in his arms. His oldest daughter stood quietly her eyes silent with pain clasping her mothers limp hand. She stared entranced at the red blood that soaked the white sheets as it spreading ominously up her mothers soft gown. Darkness had indeed descended.

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It had been a long time since he had practiced medicine for the mainstream public. Whispers of his terrible experiments caused him to go into hiding for a while. For years he had worked with his own vampire blood, cutting and dissecting, slowly working towards his ultimate goal.

His son he had turned himself, he needed the test subject and the blood, and he worked tirelessly telling himself that it would all be worth it. Often times he kept his son sedated, barely alive, a step from torpor.

Progress requires sacrifice, and he had no problem sacrificing others, even his own son. At last it appeared he had accomplished his goal, and he was happy to release his son upon the world to see what he would bring.

It was no surprise when he found that he had chosen a female and she was with child. A breeding vampire was only half his work. The child was of utmost importance, and upon his first visit to the DeíChambray household, his inspection of the woman proved his concern. The babe was not doing well within her. So at the cost of the mother, and unbeknownst to all involved, he injected a special serum into her upon each visit, strengthening the babe, who in turned weakened its host.

Did he care that Violet would surely die? Not atall, and all accepted him as a well-known doctor of medicine, the kindly old man with bright white hair. His disguise was almost perfect except for one small hitch.

Wisteria watched him with distrustful eyes; the ten-year-old girl was extremely suspicious she often begged her father to let her go in with the doctor upon his visits. Luckily it fell on deaf ears, it wasnít proper in the least for a ten year old to be inside the room.

The girl had a keen sense and he knew she saw thru him, but at the fragile age of ten, there was little she could do. So Doctor Strathmore proceeded, and continued injecting Violet with his vitamin supplements.

The child was born, and strangely he found that Violet may well survive the birth, yet he could not have her about, so after the babe was pulled shrieking from its mothers womb, the doctor made sure that she slowly bled to death, unbeknownst to her husband who merely thought she had died from the strenuous childbirth. Handing his granddaughter to the mourning father he smiled secretly and began packing his tools, his work done till she was older, and then he would return for her.

Upon returning home he drew up the contract for her betrothal, and with the help of a large sum of gold, it was signed by the parents of her future husband. The second half of his experiment, at last was well on its way to completion.

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Smack! her hand dealt a stinging blow to the young girls face. I am tired of it Willow, I saw you lurking around the stables, that was no foolish prank. Willow looked at her older sister with blank eyes and feigned tears. I did not mean any harm Wisty, twas really just not smart of me. Wisty narrowed her eyes and sighed in exasperation You could have killed the driver of the carriage the horses ran amuck with it. What did you think would happen?

Willow gave her sister a cool look, she was tall and shapely for the slight age of 14 and rather pale, her strange green hair clung about her angular face, she wore a dress that was old and out of style and just a bit to short as you could see a glimpse of ankle from time to time. Well? Wisty asked frostily giving her sisters appearance a quick look of disgust. Wisty, I just thought they would run a ways and stop I didnít think they would hit that bumpy ground and the carriage would overturnÖ. Drifting off she frowned at the floor. Sighing resignedly, Very well Willow, come with me, father will be very angry about this. I will try to temper his anger but your pranks have grown as of late and people are getting hurt!

He sat in his study perusing the latest bills and shaking his head in disgust. He was a man of average height with brown hair and blue eyes. A tinge of gray at his temples and a careworn line crossed his forehead. He looked up exasperated as he heard the door softly click open. What do you want Willow he said wearily as she sauntered in the room. His expression softened a bit as he saw the look of concern on his older daughter's face as she followed closely in behind her. Looking them both over he waited knowing something had happened. Willow has been up to hi-jinx again, the driver is fine but the carriage will need repairs. Wisty rushed out in one breath this vague admission. Her father sat still and quiet looking first from Wisty's concerned face to Willow's bored expression. Well Willow what have you to say for yourself?
What? Oh sorry, ummm well I just thought the horses would run a bit I didnít know the carriage would overturn. Angrily he rose and grabbed the tall girl by the shoulders yelling into her insolent face he shook her until a soft hand rested upon his shoulder and he turned to see Wisty's pleading face looking at him. Please Papa she meant no harm. Willow hid a satisfied smirk, her sister could be so useful at times, quickly she changed her face to a look of scared repentance and nodded emphatically. Releasing her he shook his head saying, I donít know Willow, perhaps it is time I remarried I think you need a womanís touch to keep you inline. Willow gave him a sharp look and Wistyís face changed into one of astonishment. What! Willow let out a strangled word and looked quickly to Wisty. Father Willow said quietly, I really donít think that is necessary we are fine as we are. Jutting her chin forward she gave him her usual rebellious look. Wisty shook her head and paced about the room. He gave them both a quick glance and nodded deciding on something and said I will do as I please both of you run along and Willow I will punish you later.


The vase crashed to the floor, it was an expensive one, and she snickered happily with the shards that lay at her feet. Picking one piece of it up she cut a line across her palm and stood fascinated by the blood that ebbed there. For as long as she could remember she had loved the sight of blood it had made her feel so strange, it was almost intoxicating to her senses. She watched it drip from her hand and it began making a red stain on her bedroom carpet, she didnít care. Strangely it hurt so slightly for a deep cut such as that. She remembered being five and breaking her ankle and the doctor staring at her in amazement for she made no sound as they set it and bound it tightly. She almost felt like searching out pain, in a strange way she enjoyed it but she felt rather cheated as she rarely felt any. Quickly wiping her hand on her dark skirt she rushed from the room and down out to the garden.

Curling her lips up at the pungent flowers growing she came finally to her favorite part of the garden, a twisted knotted old tree. Its branches were sparse with leaves and she figured it had developed some ailment and was slowly dying. This part of the garden was rather gloomy and very little grew here. She loved it! She could come and sit here and think all the odd things that so often filled her head in peace and quiet away from her twit of a sister.

She really didnít know how to control herself anymore such strange urges had begun to well up inside her growing stronger with each passing day. Finally she had given in to them, she was fascinated with death, she had taken to sneaking out at night and roaming the family burial grounds stopping every night by her motherís grave. When one of the servants had died last week she had dug the freshly buried corpse up and sat in fascination staring at its mangled remains. She shook her head and placed it softly in her hands the urge to kill had grown so strong. She knew surely others could not feel as she did or they would all have killed each other. She stared off silently as she thought of the driverís frightened face when the reins broke and the crashing sound accompanied by the shrieking of horses. She had felt so excited so reckless, she had so hoped she would find him dead. Alas, the man had risen with only a few bleeding cuts but nothing more, the smell of his blood wafting over to the spot where she hid watching. She had wanted to leave her hiding place and kill him herself but her darling sister had heard the noises and come running as well as many others so she had slunk off irritable and angry.

She sat there lost in thought till she heard a rustle in the bushes behind her and turned staring at a pair of glowing green eyes. Feeling no fear she turned about and said calmly. Who are you, and why do you hide in the bushes watching me. She gasped in surprise as the tall thin man stepped from the bushes his green eyes staring at her in wonder. He appeared young but his eyes bespoke a certain aged wisdom, the air was cold and still about him. He looked at her carefully and shook his head as if he could not believe she existed. You have her nose and the same shape to your lips but your sister looks much more like her. Arching an eyebrow Willow gasped as she stared at the man. You speak of my mother as if you new her well. A small smile twitched across his lips, I did indeed, how old are you young one? Staring at him in irritation she placed her hands on her hips Young one, you insult me I will not answer your questions, go away and leave me be.

No you will answer me, I must know what your age is. Staring back she gave him an angry look. His presence before her sent her reeling out of control and she leapt up pulling the small dagger from her belt and lunged at him wanting nothing more than to slash his throat. Easily he caught her wrist and she stared shocked as she heard the sickening crack of her wrist snapping in his grip, a wry smile crossed his lips. I see you are a bit out of control, so hard to control these urges you know, death is like an elusive beauty, pain a relished treasure. A bit of pain surging thru her she stared at him in shock. He started muttering strange words and her wrist mended quickly her hand no longer hanging at an odd angle. She stood confused her green eyes mirroring back into his. I am 14. Nodding as if he expected that answer he smiled back at her. Nightshade, my darling child, it is time for you to take your place in life, he chuckled a bit at this statement and continued on, the mysteries you struggle with the urges that confuse you, I will teach and train you.

Father? she looked at him quizzically but somehow it felt right, she had always known. Extending a hand to her she looked at him for only a moment then took it and let him lead her silently into the woods. She rolled the name he had called her over in her head and liking it did not question it further as it seemed to suit her. I will return you to your room in the morning. No one must know of thisÖyet. Come there is much for you to learn and we haven't much time. He glanced behind him and quickened his step as if he was being pursued, Nightshade shrugged and struggled to keep up with his long strides. He glanced briefly at her and stared at her green hair as he walked. My, my, he murmured this is a pleasant surprise, how useful.......
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Shade had waited long enough. That was it! she was leaving! Her father had said to meet here but he was very late and she was not one to be kept waiting. Leaning against the dead willow tree she chewed slowly on an old apple, it was a bit rotten but she didnít care she could barely taste it. She really should go....

At last from the shadows he emerged, her father wore an expression of impatience. About time father! He didnít say anything just pulled his arm back and hit the 16 year old girl squarely in the face. The apple dropped from her hand and the girl fell silent to the ground.

She awoke to the sound of screams and the smell of rotting corpses surrounding her. She herself was bound and chained tightly to a filthy wall and try as she might she could not wrench herself free. The more she struggled the more bloody her wrists became. She felt a new emotion well up inside her, she was scared. Once more the darkness claimed her.

She felt a hand on her shoulder rousing her once more, her father stood staring at her sadly. I canít protect you any longer my daughter. Nightshade scowled, Yes I can see what a good job you were doing of it to, she said snidely.

He stared at her drawing himself up and looking into her bedraggled face. I am giving you the only thing I have left to give, so that it may protect you. I see the curiosity shining in your eyes. Immortality my dearest one is to be yours. I have grown weary of this realm and I want to see your mother again. To long have I been torn from my one true love.

Your insane. Sobs tore thru her body and she begged and pleaded with him.. NO, please I donít want it, I know what you are, I know the price I must pay for this. I enjoy death, I enjoy pain, I want to die! I have studied death for many years donít take it from me now. I should never have been bornÖ.

Her father covered her mouth with his hand. Angrily he spoke, Itís a gift my dearest one, people would kill for this.
She bit him with all her might and he let go of her quickly.

NO FATHER PLEASE DONíT DO THIS TO ME. I have only ever wanted to be normal. Tears were flowing fast and hard down her face. All my life I have been an outcast I have no place to fit, I am a product of two different worlds that do not mix. I have no kind of my own to search outÖ He ignored her. I know whats best for you, you are young and reckless, shut-up. You need this protection against your grandfather.

Happily her father began to whistle and left her chained to the wall. He could hardly wait till his father found out how all his plans had been thwarted. She struggled frantically but to no avail blood dripped from her chains and a pool of it had fallen beneath them to the floor.

I canít work with this John, she has lost to much blood and I need it. Gently Agatha reached out and touched her face. She has such an odd beautyÖ.the green hair, is it a family trait? John stared at Agatha his eyes narrowing, thatís none of your concern. She smiled at him winsomely, I bet you wouldnít speak to Violet that wayÖ..

John slapped her hard. I donít have time for this lets begin. Oh! After I am gone, she is not to be used as one of your playthings, Aggie. Slowly she smiled, Very well John her voice sounding a bit saddened.

To her surprise, the woman chained her father up next to her. Then taking a sharp silver blade she pressed it slowly into Willows stomach, blood poured out and ran down her legs. It never hit the floor instead it arched into a cauldron placed between her father and her.

The room began to dim and in the back of her mind she saw a woman with red hair sobbing as a crying infant was held up to her weakened form.

Violet sang softly into Willows ear:

Night turns busily into day
Centuries pass and write the way
Old into New and New into Old
Each step in time a child is bornÖ

When days grow long and evenings cold
The old must die their time hath wornÖ
What evil lurks within the dark
Waiting for that moments spark

The death of light the birth of Shade
So slowly Willow's memory fades.
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