Til Death Do Us Part

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“My grandniece just got married.”

They were sitting in the living room having their breakfast. This had been their routine for a century. Today was their anniversary.

He smiled showing his teeth. He always smiled like that so he could show his fangs. He said it made him look menacing. It didn’t but she wasn’t about to tell him that.

“That’s wonderful news darling,” he said. He turned a page of his book.

“I was wondering when our wedding would be?” she said slowly. She had to force it out of herself or she’d never get up the nerve to ask.

He closed his book and rose from the plush red chair slowly. He lay the book down on the cherry wood table and slunk towards her. Anxiety boiled in her chest as he sat down next to her.

“We’ve been over this before Mariane,” he started. He traced a nonexistent frown line on her face. “I can’t possibly marry while Mother is still alive.”

“But why?!” She whined. She let her childishness get the best of her.

“I’m her only surviving child as you know darling and it would absolutely devastate her to see me marry,” he said with a purr.

“What does she expect? You are eight hundred years old. I think it’s time you cut her loose Anthony.”

He blanched as even the thought of this was a fat, wooden stake in his heart. “She’s my mother Mariane.”

She flopped out of her chair. They had this conversation every year and his answer was always the same.

“I’m going out,” she said.

“It’s only dusk. You should wait until its pitch outside.”

“I’ll wear sunscreen!”

Mariane flew out of the house. When she was a safe distance away from the stucco house she burst into tears.

Why did she continue to put up with him? He had turned her on a day similar to this in 1900. It had seemed like such a glorious thing. It was a new century and she had escaped her mother’s bosom. While her friends had gone off to their fancy colleges or married their beaus she thought she had made the best choice. She allowed her vampire beau to change her. It was perfect. She and him together for eternity.

But she had expected to spend eternity married. Oh how ashamed her mother would be of her if she knew her baby was living in sin!

“Hey Mariane!”

She looked up. Martha Willington was sitting on her front porch in her rocking chair. Her little cocker spaniel was lying next to her.

“Hello Martha,” she shouted grudgingly.

“Well I say you do look mighty pale today Mariane,” Martha yelled.

Mariane forced a smile. She looked pale every day.

“How’s the fellow?”

“Oh he’s just swell,” Mariane said.

“You two should come over sometime. I’m just dying for y’all to try my butter biscuits.”

Mariane laughed. “We’ll see. I’d best be going.”

Mariane turned and walked away as fast as she could under the circumstances. When she judged the distance far enough she slowed.

By now the stars were showing. She took in the summer air as she strolled.

She and Anthony had moved to the Forest Hill neighborhood two years ago. It was the first time she been back in the neighborhood since she had been changed. Anthony judged it long enough that everyone she had possibly known was dead. That and she wouldn’t stop badgering him until they’d returned to the South.

Everything was different but somehow the same. The houses looked much the way they did then but now there was an automobile sitting at every one of them.

“Ay pass the ball!”

Mariane sniffed at the intrusion of the children. Yes things had changed. They allowed those people here now.

The ball bounced near her feet. She flounced back as a young girl ran towards it.

“It didn’t hit you did it ma’am?” The girl asked.

“No,” she said icily.

The girl smiled. She turned on her heel and started to bounce the ball back towards her friends.

Mariane walked past. She had no clue where she was going. She just couldn’t stand another moment in that house with him. She had redecorated eight times since they’d arrived. One for every season. It didn’t matter of course because he never noticed.

She walked a little faster as she stewed over her rage. Her life wasn’t supposed to be like this. It was supposed to be perfect. She was supposed to be the perfect wife with her perfect children and her perfect husband and the perfect house.

BAM! She ran into something. She grunted as she untangled herself from another pair of limbs.

“Hey watch were you’re going lady,” a rough voice said.

Mariane had the urge to snap back but her mother had always taught her to be a lady. So she did the best next thing.

“I’m so sorry sir it was hard to see,” she said pointedly.

The man did not look amused. He was a big fellow. He wore a black leather jacket with spikes on it. Underneath was a slip of a shirt that didn’t do much to hide his pudge.  

“It’s okay,” he said.

She smiled brightly and continued on.

“By the way miss I’m a chick.”

Mariane didn’t stop at this comment. It shouldn’t have surprised her. It was hard to tell who was a man or woman these days. She stifled the longing for halcyon days and continued on. 

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