3. Family of Creatures

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I sat on the front seat of Nana's little Fiat, staring at the road ahead of us. Black was in his carrier box on the back seat, patient as always. It had been easy to put him in his box.  I had not deceived him too many times with a visit to the vet, and so he connected the carrier box with getting to Nana's house. Black was a normal cat who loved to hunt mice, go on adventures at night, and sleep in sunspots during the day.  His shiny black coat was definitely an asset in his favourite hobby of enjoying the sunshine. 

My laptop and clothes I had gathered in a hurry were in a duffel bag next to Black. In another bag were all the books about Amarna I had, some notebooks and my fountain pens which I loved. A futile attempt to keep at business as usual, I suppose.

"I am sorry it has come to this," Nana broke the silence, "I should have sensed you were in danger, being what you are, but the scouts I sent to check on you never saw any trace of another Creature showing interest in you. So either it was an accident, and the vampire caught your scent because of the opened balcony door, or they have been planning this for a long time, keeping their distance to lull us into a false sense of security."

I did not say a word - I felt so utterly tired after this unbelievable day that I only had the strong urge to fall asleep. My head lolled down and I realised I had fallen asleep for a few seconds.

"No, do not sleep!" Nana's hand grabbed my thigh and shook me, "That is the effect of the vampire venom - it makes you so tired you just fall asleep.  That way your vampire can return and drink from you without waking you up. You need to learn to fight the fatigue from the start."

"What? Do you mean I cannot sleep at all from now on?"

"Yes, you can sleep, but you should only do so after you have drank the medicine. For a few hours after that you'll sleep normally, which means you wake up to sounds or light. But tell me - how do you think he managed to bite you in the first place without waking you up? Unless you are dead drunk  or in a coma, you wake up when someone bites you in the neck!"

"Well I was not dead drunk," I forced my eyes open "I barely ever drink. I have no idea how he did it."

"Did anything out of the ordinary happen the previous night? Could you have been drugged somehow? Did you eat or drink anything out of the ordinary?"

"No, I told you I..."

I never finished the sentence because suddenly I remembered.

"What? Tell me!" Nana said, "And keep those eyes open while you do so. You have to stay awake until we reach my house and you can get a new dose of the medicine."

"I had forgotten to buy chicken for Black, and remembered it only shortly before the stores closed. So I ran to the little store a few blocks away. Got the chicken - and there was a juice tasting there. The woman was just about to leave and she poured me a big glass of the new brand of juice. All that was left in her last carton. I was thirsty and drank it all. And when I got home I was so tired I just fed the cat and went to bed. I slept like a log and woke up to... these!"

I touched the bites on my neck.

"That must have been it," Nana sighed, "So they had been planning this beforehand."

She banged her hand against the wheel, making me scared the little car would fall into pieces.

"I blame myself. I should have known, knowing what you are! Will you ever forgive me?"

Suddenly I had no answer to give to her. I mean if I was of a bloodline of "Creatures" as Nana called them... us... and she had known I might be in danger and had had means to protect me... Why hadn't she? I just couldn't say it was ok. Because really, it wasn't. Something horrible had happened, and now I would be in danger for... how long? The rest of my life? Which would be how many years? Months? Weeks? Days?

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