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Pen Your Pride

"The monsters of your nightmares are real"

That was what they taught us when we were young. Today was another one of the masters lectures, and was becoming increasing tiresome. The topic; 'The vampris of the ancient Egyptians'

Personally, I could not see what this had to do with slaying actual vampires. It seemed like a huge waste of my time, time which could be spent practising using stakes or combat training. Master Haverbroke didn't see it my way unfortunately.

"Miss Everlyn!" snapped Master Haverbroke.

My eyes snapped up from the open book I'd been obviously more intently studying rather than listening to him. "Does my lesson bore you?"

I opened my mouth to speak, but was silenced before I could utter a single syllable. "Think wisely before you speak"

"Master, your lecture is as fascinating as it is captivating" I said with a smirk, I was playing with fire, but I did not realise I was about to get burned.

"Stand up" he said curtly, the rest of my class sighed, this was too regular occurrence for them, but alas they claimed to admire my bravery.

I walked to the front of the class, down the steps leading to the front, my dress hitched in one hand to prevent myself tripping, though any hunter would realise that it was the ideal way of carrying ones skirts without leaving ones self defenceless, it allowed me easy access to the discretely hidden stake and knife strapped to each of my ankles.

When I reached the bottom of the steps, I was facing Master Haverbroke. He was only master of history here at Rowhurst, but despite being only a history master, he had been known to devise cruel and unusual punishment. Over the years, he had come up with a variety and used me as his test subject. Now at sixteen, I was becoming more difficult to punish. However, this never stopped him trying.

"May I ask what my punishment is for?" I said, my tone bored.

"Impertinance" he quiped. I rolled my eyes, it did not go unnoticed.

"Twice the punishment" he said, "stand on the chair in the corner"

I did as instructed, mounting it with agile grace which came from my selective breeding. "Now raise your right leg, crossing it behind the left"

I gritted my teeth, I was no fool, he was deliberately making me balance on my weaker leg, hoping I would fall. "You will stand like that for the remainder of the lesson, if you fall, you will return at the end of the day and repeat the exercise till you execute it perfectly; we do not take second best"

My fellow students cast sympathetic glances, though none spoke up on my behalf. The masters at Rowhurst School were notoriously strict, you see, the school wasn't an ordinary one, they did not teach us english and maths, they taught us in combat, the science of vampires. Yes, Vampires.

Rowhurst was a school for vampire slayers. It had been established some 150 years ago, in 1700 after the great epidemic of 'pox' that had struck the nation. It wasn't pox that had been killing people but rather a dangerously high number of vampires. With there so few trained hunters, the need to establish Rowhurst was vital, to catch young children from the families of hunters at a young enough age in order to teach them; in other words, they turned us into hardened killers. It was not as bad as it seemed, our families had accumulated great wealth over the years, we did not live in poverty, rather the opposite.

My parents were cold people, my father was head slayer in the Order of Slayers, overseeing operations across the world. He had not much time for me as when I was young, and my mother was the same, she was legendary, having practically wiped out vampires in the Canadian territories, but she had left the minute I was shipped of to Rowhurst, a letter arriving every year on my birthday and occasionally at Christmas. I supposed that was what happened when your parents were hardened killers, but alas it broke my heart to see the lavish gifts the other students received, I had finery of course, but nothing of real sentiment, all my dresses had practical application, a secret compartment for holy water, a way of ripping it away so they were easier to fight in.

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