[UNEDITED FIRST DRAFT] Untitled Spark & Vainstrel Story 3

PLEASE NOTE: This is a ROUGH DRAFT. It is the VERY FIRST DRAFT OF THE STORY. YOU are the very first person to read it – I haven’t even read it in its entirety yet!

You WILL come across numerous issues including:

  • spelling mistakes;
  • grammar issues;
  • weak sentence structure;
  • repeated words;
  • unnecessary words;
  • missing words;
  • lack of details/descriptions;
  • confusing details/descriptions;

Critiques/criticisms, while appreciated, most likely will be discarded at this stage! Thank you.

Additional Note: Doodles, Sketches, and Artwork may be added over time. These are not the story illustrations! They do feature characters and places within the story, however.

The soft glow of the moonlight illuminated Spark’s body and emphaized the smile that was plastered on her face. Her giggles echoed on the fairly quiet street corner and her eyes stayed glued to the screen in her hand. Her fingers tapped a response just as quickly as the speech bubbles came. 

The conversation started not too long after Spark had booked a carriage to take her back home from a long day out in the town. Even though she had her usual electricity pulsing her body, she could feel she just simply wanted to relax and unwind. The heaviness of her limbs had worn her down…up until she heard the custom organ jingle ringtone she had set. Sparks of electricty flittered around her head the moment she heard it. 

The rehersals of this lifetime have finally allowed me to leave! A good night’s rest is what my body yearns for so that I may return and reherase once more tomorrow.” 

“tee hee. sounds tiring” 

“Indeed, tiring it has been! But it is worth every ounce of my being to be on stage and bring the show to life with perfection and grace!”

“tee hee!! did anything happen today?” 

“Nothing out of the ordinary. It went all spectacularly well, as one would hope.” 

“And, my dear lady Spark, how was your day?” 

“OH BOY YOU DO nOT WANT TO ASK” 

“I implore you to tell! You have piqued the curiousity in my vamprie eye.” 

“TEE hEE oh you ummm………where do i start………..um…..it was a problem after a problem”

“I had to call electrical maintence a gazillion times today because so much equipment was not working the way it was supposed to! it made my job 10x harder!” 

Spark tapped the top of her phone to her lips, savoring the giddiness that had sprouted up within her being. “He types like he talks!” she exclaimed, followed by a giggle. She leaned back on the bench, looking up at the starry sky above. He’s so funny. 

Her cheeks slightly flushed, thinking about Vainstrel. It didn’t take too long before her mind went to the finger he had once punctured. She let out a sigh, sinking down into her seat. “Oh man…” What would I give to have him do that again! She bit her bottom lip. Is…that even okay for me to want? 

DAAAA DAAA DAAA DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Spark jumped, pulling her phone away from her lips. A dramatic organ ringtone blared and on the screen’s caller ID read VAINSTREL, followed by a smiling profile picture that made Spark’s heart want to leap out from her chest and run away in a different kind of way than how she had been startled.

Hurriedly, she swiped her finger and put the phone to her ear. “Vainstrel?” 

Good day, dear Spark! I am aware we are sending electronic messages to each other, but I simply just had to call you to extend a very important invite to you. Are you available to come to the café we met at before?” 

Spark put a hand to her cheek and gasp. The café?! Maybe he’ll bite me!! “Yeah, I can do that!” 

I shall see you there soon. I am headed that way now. I should be there within 20 minutes.” 

“Okay! That sounds good! I can’t wait to see you!” 

“I cannot wait to see you either, Lady Spark!” 

“Tee hee!” 

beep 

Spark hung up the phone, completely melting. “I get to see Vainstrel today!” 

Her attention quickly turned back to her phone. After a few swipes through menus, the carriage application was reopened and she reset her destination from her home to the café. 

The heaviness that had perimiated her body was completely gone. Lightness completely replaced it, making her earlier exhaustion a completely illusion. 

The notification on her phone from the carriage application quickly appeared with a 5 minutes arrival time. Spark found herself standing up from the bench and waiting. 

She tapped her phone to her lips once more, grinning and giggling. Her body trembled with each giggle that left her vocal cords. “He always sounds so passionate and excited about everything. I wonder what his important invite is?” 

Maybe to marry him or to bite me all over?! Spark’s eyes popped and she deeply blushed. She covered her face with her phone, retracting her hed down almost like a turtle to hide behind it. “Oh my gosh, me! That’s so inappropriate! We aren’t anything like that!” 

Several organ jingles sounded all at once and she looked down to her phone, seeing a series of texts from Vainstrel. One was related to how she was going to arrive, but the rest were irrelevant – simply just an interesting sight he saw on the way and some thoughts he had. 

Spark shook her head and relaxed her shoulders. Her face was flushed. He is so weird and talks to me sooooooo much…but I don’t mind it. “It’s kind of cute. ❤︎”

***

Spark stepped out from the carriage and waved good-bye and voiced a “thank you” to her driver. Her feet firmly placed on the ground, she turned her gaze over to the familiar vampire with half his face covered with long blonde hair and the other completely bald. Her cheeks flushed and the sparks of electricty that had been flickering the whole ride became large and more frequent to the point she was pretty sure she was feeling the heat. 

“My dear Lady Spark! It is a pleasure as always to see your beautiful face once more!” Vainstrel greeted. 

Spark placed a hand on her cheek as Vainstrel grabbed her other one, giving her a gentle kiss. Spark shivered a bit as his lips part from her skin. Ooooh, if only it was a bite! She then glanced up into the air. Well, kisses on my hand aren’t bad either. 

Vainstrel dramatically tossed his cape behind himself, stilling holding onto Spark’s hand. “Come! Our table and drinks await!” 

Spark found herself giggling. He’s sooooo funny. 

Spark allowed Vainstrel to lead her into the café. The lighting was dim and cozy, but still allowed everything to be seen and read with ease. There seemed to be no one else in the café besides from the two staff members manning the counter and Spark & Vainstrel. 

Vainstrel stopped at a small table in the corner of the café. 

Spark’s eyes glittered, seeing the familiar shaped cups. “Oh my goodness, did you really?!” She lifted up the cup closest to her and opened the cap, sniffing the warm hot chocolate. 

“Yes, I indeed went ahead and ordered our drinks! Time is not to waste – it is ours to take.” 

Spark sat down in her chair, adjusting her skirt to allow herself to comfortable sit. She immeditately swooned the moment she let go of her skirt. “That is seriously so sweet of you. Gosh, what are you even doing to me?” 

Spark maintained her smile and cheery attitude, but she noticed Vainstrel appeared to be a bit thrown off by her words. 

“I….” started to say Vainstrel. 

Spark placed her cheek in her hand and tilted her head, smiling up at Vainstrel who still hadn’t sat down. Her smile spread long across her face and her eyes squinted. “I don’t know what you want with me, but you’re so nice to me. You make me feel loved.” 

She stayed in position, but her heart and back of her mind began to panic. What are you saying me? It’s true I feel so loved and cared for, but you’ve only met this guy, like, twice…oh goodness, I am so embarassed. 

Spark soon found both her hands being held by Vainstrel. His pale face was flashed red and he looked unexpectedly adorable in his flustered state. “My dear Lady Spark! I question those who do not treat you with kindness. You yourself are kind and caring. Your niceness shines through. Your smile is like a symphony of lightning bolts in the sky and your very presence simply rattles those like the loudest thunder. I truly could not imagine anyone else whom I would like to have a blo– blantantly nice interaction with!”

Spark took one of her hands back, putting it to his face. “Are you flirting with me?” 

Vainstrel leaned in closer to her face. “If that is what you wish.” His fang teeth glinted under his slightly-parted lip smile and Spark couldn’t help but feel restless in the best way possible. 

Spark didn’t even know what to say back. Her eyes simply gazed into the single eye visible on Vainstrel’s face. She had a feeling though his other eye, obscured by his long blonde hair, was also looking back at her. Wow, he wants to flirt with me. With ME. Wait, does he? He didn’t actually say he did, now that I think about it…

Spark’s thoughts dwindled off as Vainstrel gave her a kiss on her hand and made his way to the seat across from her, presumably to where his tea sat. 

Spark watched Vainstrel lift up his tea with both hands, seeing him blow on the steam pouring out from the opening in the cup’s cap. She flicked her wrist in his direction, extending her index finger. Her eyes glistened and her breath paused for a moment. “Would you like me to give you some blood?” 

Vainstrel’s eyes lit up like the sparks flittering about Spark’s head. “What a generous gesture! It would be so very rude of me not to take such a delicious offer.” 

Spark giggled. She pushed her own cup of hot chocolate beside her and stood up. She extended her hand further, watching as Vainstrel took off the cover of his cup of tea. Spark watched with anticipation as Vainstrel’s fang lowered in his mouth. Am I trembling? Everything seems shaky. Spark didn’t noticed she started to quietly pant. Oh goodness, I really hope I’m not shaking too much! 

Spark’s face heated up as Vainstrel’s cold hands touched her’s gentle. His beautiful orange eye gently closed as his face inched closer to her finger. His breath tickled her fingers. Spark could feel herself squeeze her legs together because if she didn’t, she thought: I’m going to zap this whole place down! Ooo, darn this energy! 

Vainstrel’s teeth nicked her finger. Goosebumps rose all over Spark’s hands and legs and she let out a sigh. She could hear the gentle plops of blood dripping into his cup. 

“Are you all right, my dear Spark? That was quite a sigh that left your mouth.” 

Spark lifted up a hand, forcing a smile on her face. She waved it, as if shooing him away. “No, no! I’m fine. I’m perfectly fine. It just tickled a bit!” 

“Very well.” Vainstrel’s smile heated her face up even more as he closed his eyes once more and licked her wound closed. With that, he released her hand. 

Spark placed the hand on her chest as she sat back down. He bit me!! He bit me today!!! The grin on her face grew, as did her sparks. Best. Day. EVER! 

“You seem so joyful today – has your tiredness been vanquished by the chocolate in your cup.” 

“Oh no, silly!” exclaimed Spark. She put a finger to her cheek. “You’re the one who vanquished it!” She let out a giggle.

She lifted up her cup of spicy hot chocolate, watching Vainstrel’s cheeks flush. He is so adorable. She let out a quiet sigh. 

“I-I’m happy that I could vanquish the beast for you. What, may I ask, vanquished the beast of exhaustion for you?” Vainstrel shoved the cap onto his drink, swirled it around, and clasped the cup with both hands, taking a large gulp from it. He took the cup away from his mouth and winced, touching his throat and sticking out his tongue as he did. 

Spark took a small sip of her hot chocolate. She tapped her cheek the moment she put it back down. “Hmm…I’d say it was you messaging me.” 

“That is right?” 

“Yes!” Spark replied. She took another few sips form her cup, then let out a gasp. “Speaking of messaging you, what did you want me to come here for?” 

“Huh?” 

Spark placed both hands on her cheeks and leaned forward, giving Vainstrel a smirk. “Unless you just wanted to see me.” 

“Oh!” Vainstrel slammed down his cup. “As I always do, Lady Spark! However, it something more than just seeing you – no matter how worthy that would be of inviting you here – but rather, I have a gift for you!” 

Vainstrel reached into his inner vest pocket. He drew out a golden envelope that seemed to sparkle even in the dim lighting of the café. He placed it onto the table and slid it over. In fancy cursvie writing in a dark golden ink was Spark’s name. 

“Huh? What’s this?” Spark lifted the envelope, running her fingers over her name. She flipped it over and saw a black wax seal with a bat carved into it. 

Spark gently slid her finger underneath the wax seal and released it. She folded back the flap and pulled out the contents inside: a ticket the length of the envelope and half the height, plus a necklace with a laminated sheet of paper reading “V.I.P. – The Demon Lord’s Taking My Lover as His Bride – Backstage Pass” with the date underneath in smaller characters. Spark flipped over the VIP pass to the back, seeing clear directions on how she was to get backstage. 

“Oh. My. GODS!” Spark stood up from her chair. “Is this for your show?!?!?!?!?!” 

“Yes, indeed, my dear Lady Spark – it is for the show in which I am one of the stars. It is a magnificent stage play we have been working on performing for most of the year. With all my cold vampire heart, I would love for you to attend as my special guest. It is tickets for the opening night.” 

He got me these? Oh my goodness! And a VIP pass! “Are you sure these aren’t wasted on me?” 

Vainstrel laughed. “How Tarheian! My dear Spark, you are more than worthy of such a thing!” 

Within Spark blinking her eyes, Vainstrel was near her, up close and holding onto her hand. “I could not want anything more than to see your beautiful face enthralled with the story and come see the brillance that is myself and my fellow actors.” 

Spark held the ticket, pass, and envelope to her chest, letting out an absolutely romantic sigh at Vainstrel. She shook her head and smiled. He wants ME to watch him? This is amazing. 

Vainstrel almost looked like he was sparkling himself, despite the dim lighting in the café. Spark placed the envelope down, leaned over, and hugged Vainstrel tightly. “Oh my goodness, Vainstrel! This is so much! Thank you so much for thinking of me! Of course I’ll attend!” She pulled away, looking into his orange eye. “I’ll keep my schedule open. I can’t wait to see how you perform!” 

A small smile spread on Vainstrel’s face. Spark could see his retracted fang teeth peering out from in between his slightly parted lips. “And I cannot wait for you to witness it.” 

Spark’s eyes were pulled away from his lips and onto Vainstrel’s eye. She knew the lighting was good where she sat and the dark circles underneath his eyes weren’t simply a shadow that was being casted. With both hands, she grasped his cheeks, pulling his eye closer.

“W-what is it, my dear?” 

“Youuuu…have really dark circles under your eye. I wonder if your other one is like th–” Spark went to brush away Vainstrel’s hair to check out his other eyes, only to have him grab her hand. She could see him holding his breath and his single eye looking at her nervously. 

“It’s fine!” replied Vainstrel.

Spark titled her head. A question mark floated beside her. Huh. 

Vainstrel intertwined his fingers with her’s. “I am simply exhausted from all the practice, as I had noted during our electronic letters.” 

He’s touching me!! His fingers!! 

Spark leaned into Vainstrel’s face, meeting his eye. She couldn’t help but smile. “Do you want some more of my blood?” 

“Huh?” 

“And I don’t mean from my finger.” 

Vainstrel’s face seemed to light up for a moment. “Are you asking me to take blood more than a meer prick to the finger can provide?” 

Spark squeezed Vainstrel’s hands and tightened her legs together. “Yes!” 

A brief smile flashed on Vainstrel’s face, but it quickly deflated. Spark followed Vainstrel’s gaze as he looked around the café. Vainstrel then turned back to Spark, taking one of her hands into both of his. “We shall wait until we are outside.” 

Spark’s body slouched and she could feel her excitement plummet. “Ugh, whhhhhhyyyyy?” 

“It is simply courtesy. It is rude to take blood in a setting such as this.” 

Spark pouted. “I want you to bite me.” 

Vainstrel’s eye popped open wide. 

Spark awkwardly grinned, tapping her cheek. “I, uh, want you to bite me so you can drink my blood and feel refreshed! We can’t have you faint, right?” Oh, way to go me. I must sound like such a perv. 

The gentle grin on Vainstrel’s face warmed Spark right back up. “Very well,” he replied. “I will be more than happy to drink your blood for you, if you wish.” 

Spark’s eye glinted. She turned away from Vainstrel, took her cup up in her hand, and chugged down her spicy hot chocolate. The spice slightly burned in her throat and she could feel it a bit in her nose, but she did not care. He’s going to bite me!! 

Vainstrel’s jaw dropped. 

Spark flashed her teeth at him. “Hurry up and drink yours too! We don’t want you to collapse, do you?” 

Deep down inside of Spark though, she knew the real reason was because she wanted to feel him bite her again. 

Vainstrel plopped himself back into his seat. He grasped his cup in both hands and brought it up to his lips. “I won’t collapse.” He took a sip. “I am not so tired as to collapse like I had the first day I had bitten you, but I do…appreciate the concern for me.” 

Spark bit into the cap on her hot chocolate. Oh. my. GOSH! His blush is so cute! Is he shy? Is he embarassed? Is he touched? She paused her thoughts for a moment and pouted. Wait, is he not going to bite me? 

“So, you don’t want me to help you?” 

“No! I said nothing of the sort! Just simply there is no rush…we can take our time.” 

Spark frowned. “Oh…” She lifted up her drink and shook it, hearing nothing but drops inside of it. She placed down her cup off to the side. 

As Vainstrel sipped away at his tea, Spark gathered up the ticket and the pass, giving it one more glance over before placing it all back into the envelope. She then looked at it and directed the flow of her magic into it. It flashed bright like a lamp and soon disappeared. 

Vainstrel looked at her utterly bewildered. Spark simply cocked her head in question. 

“What?” 

“What was that magnificent light? Within one moment the envelope was there and the next it disappeared.” 

Spark giggled. “Tee hee, I just put it in the Ether Storage.” 

“And what is this ‘ether storage’?” 

Spark put her chin in her hand. “Oh, it’s just what we witches sometimes use instead of a bag. Don’t worry though! It’s pretty easy to get stuff out!” She lifted up her other hand. Within a flash of light, the envelope was back. “See? Easy!” And with that, the envelope flashed once more and disappeared.

Vainstrel gasped. “What a convienent piece of magic!” 

“Tee hee!”

Spark leaned forward, pouting, watching Vainstrel slowly sip his tea. His face looked slightly flushed and, it could have just been Spark’s imagination, but he seemed like he was shaking quite a bit. I just want him to bite me alright…is he okay? 

Spark’s face turned pale. Oh my goodness, did my comment earlier freak him out? I did ask him to bite me…so embarassing.  

Spark put her face down on the table.

“Are you feeling well, dear Spark?” 

“Huh?” Spark lifted up her head. “Oh yeah, I’m fine.” She lifted up her cup, shaking it. “I’m already finished with my drink.” 

“I see…would you like me to request another for you?” 

“No thank you!” 

Spark leaned forward, placing both cheeks in her hands. Her lips puckered. “Soooo, tell me more about your acting career.” Her lips curled. “You must be pretty good if you got one of the lead roles!” 

Vainstrel stood up, flaring out his hand. His cape dramatically flared up behind him. “Indeed, I am one of the best!” He clinched his fist and looked down. The light around them seemed to almost shift to match the drama of his movements. “I have been a stage actor for many a years now and it has fully captured my heart! I yearn to be on the electronic screens we all have to be as well, but alas, I have not done such a thing as of yet! But no matter! I am amongst the most popular stage actors. Each and every year, I have gained far larger roles bigger than the last.” He placed his fist over his heart, looking up proudly. It was as if sparkles were forming around his head. “In the most recent years, I have been one of the major players within the stories we tell.” He then placed his hand on his hip, smirking. “I have even assisted with writing our stories to bring even more dramatic flare to them.” 

Spark giggled. “You must be so good at that!” That sounds so much like him. 

“Yes indeed!” Vainstrel replied, sitting back down. He sipped his tea. “At least, I do believe so. Our attendee surveys and reviews seem to indicate so.” 

“You guys do surveys?” 

“Yes, we do. I suspect you will be given one to fill out.” Vainstrel’s eye glinted. “I will deliver one to you personally.” 

Spark covered her mouth with her fist and giggled. “Tee hee, I’ll be sure to write you a favorable review then!” 

Vainstrel put up his hand and shook his head twice. “Unless you truly believe I am worthy of praise, please do not do such a thing.” Vainstrel reached out his hand and held Spark’s. “I would love to hear nothing more than what you believe of my performance, Lady Spark.” 

Spark could see her happy sparks flittering about around her. Her smile grew wider. Way to make a person’s sigh! “Of course. I’ll be sure to write you some helpful feedback. But I’m sure you’re amazing!” 

Vainstrel released his hand from Spark and brought it back to his tea, taking another sip. Spark found her foot was tapping on the ground, just waiting for him him sip. Her ears honed in on the cup, able to tell that it was almost done….only about 1/5th of the cup left. 

“So, what role do you play in this one?” 

Vainstrel put down his cup. His lips curled and his fang teeth flashed. He put a finger to his lips. Spark was certain that he was winking behind his hair. “That is a secret.” 

Spark pouted and tapped her cheek. “Hnnnn…I have to wait?” 

Vainstrel’s fang-revealing smirk had Spark’s chest tighten with excitement. 

Vainstrel took a large gulp of his tea and stood up. “My dear lady Spark,” he said, extending his hand. “Shall we exit this café and make our way to a private destination so I may feast on the delicacy which is your blood for a moment this evening?” 

Spark jumped up, grabbing her cup. From where she stood, she chucked it right into the waste basket. She then grabbed Vainstrel’s (who’s eye were opened as wide as they could go) and chucked it as well, not even looking at the garbage can numerous feet away from them. 

She grabbed Vainstrel’s hand and yanked him. “Let’s go!” 

Although Spark had originally jerked him away from where they had been sitting, Vainstrel’s feet caught up to her and soon she was letting him lead the way out of the café. 

***

Spark turned the corner into the park set up in the alleyway right beside the café, watching Vainstrel stop shortly past the arched gates. Spark gently bumped into his back. “Huh? Why’d you stop?” 

Spark found Vainstrel grabbing both of her shoulders, leaning into her face. His single orange eye bore into her’s. Spark could feel her cheeks heat-up. I’m going to be wanting something more than being bitten if he keeps looking at me like that! He looks like he could kiss me any moment…oh my goodness, what if does?! 

“Are you truly okay with providing me more blood to ease the fatigue that has enveloped my body?” 

Spark’s heart thumped loudly in her chest, but she chose to smile. “Tee hee! Of course!” So that’s all his concern was! He’s SOOOO nice! 

Spark closed her eyes for a moment and took in a deep breath. She dove her consciousness into her body, feeling each and every current that was pulsing throughout her. As if turning a knob, the currents of electricty within her started to quiet down so they were less of a raging storm. She opened her eyes and met Vainstrel’s. She pointed to her neck. “Current’s down! You can bite me now!” Oh my gosh, did my voice squeak? 

Vainstrel’s gentle smile and sensual eyes made Spark hold her breath as he gently pushed her head aside and held her shoulder. He took a step forward and she could feel his cold breath on her neck running down to her shoulders and up to her ears. There was a faint sound that almost sounded squishy. 

Spark found herself twitching the moment Vainstrel pierced her skin. “Aaaahn!” Her eyes popped hearing her own moans that she reactively covered her mouth with her arm that wasn’t being blocked by Vainstrel. 

Each time she could feel her skin being sucked on, she couldn’t help but twitch. She pushed her weight onto her feet, hoping to keep still and quiet, despite how much she wanted to just continue letting out moans. 

Her vision felt a bit hazy and she overall felt light, despite the amount of weight she was putting on her feet. 

It. feels. SO. GOOD. Spark rolled her eyes back. 

And then she felt her skin being licked, a tiny bit of heat, and then nothing. 

Vainstrel took a step back and Spark instincitvely touched where she had once felt his teeth. Her shoulders dropped. We’re done? “There’s not even a wound!” 

Vainstrel pointed his finger in the air, slightly bowing forward. “Of course, dear Lady Spark. It is a special ability for those of us whom are witch-hunting vampires.” 

‘Witch-hunting’? Spark found herself tilting her head. Curiousity bubbled up from her stomach. She clasped her hands together, leaning forward to meet Vainstrel’s eye. “Oh yeah…you’ve mentioned that before, haven’t you? Why are you a ‘witch-hunting’ vampire again?” Spark furrowed her brow in such a way that must of looking accusatory, because Vainstrel suddenly gasped. Spark’s lips curled watching as he began to flail about in a way that was so uncharacteristic for him, at least, from what she knew of him so far. 

“Uh-ah-um…it’s! We don’t kill! That is the first thing you must know.” Vainstrel grasped his forehead and shook his head. “Even if we were to do that, it is not like we would be able to get away with such a thing nowadays.” Vainstrel then turned back to Spark. Spark could see sweat glistening on his brow. “The ‘witch-hunting’ simply refers to the fact that we seek out the blood of witches, simply because we receive the most benefit from them. Surely I must have mentioned it once before!” 

“Hmm…something like that?” Spark replied, tapping her cheek. “Can you drink non-witch blood?” 

“Yes, we can, however, the benefits are simply not the same. It is good in a pinch, but the power that pulses through the veins of witches is so very potent, it restores us temporarily to a full living state, if we receive enough.” 

“Ooooh.” 

“It’s mostly helpful for having offspring however – we do not need to convert anyone, unlike other vampires. However, such a state is also dangerous and requires carefully planning on the part of the vampire to ensure a full-term can be reached without reverting to our living-dead state. It is quite a feat that my parents managed to have more than one child!” 

Spark placed her hands on her chest, stepping forward even more into Vainstrel’s space. Her eyes glinted with pure curiousity. “What would happen if you had a baby with a non-vampire while you were in a living state?” 

Silence. 

What…did…I just ask. 

Spark and Vainstrel both took a step back from each other, both of their faces completely flushed red. “I-I am like, so totally sorry! That was such a weird question to ask!” Spark found herself awkwardly laughing.

Vainstrel waved his hand out to her, followed by clearing his throat. ‘Not at all, d-dear Spark. It is indeed quite a good question. I truly do not have the answer – I do not believe there is anything within…within the recorded history of doing such a thing with a non-vampire.” 

Spark clinched her stomach. Me, do NOT even go there. 

“So…is my blood pretty special?” inquired Spark, scratched her cheek. She glanced over at Vainstrel. She couldn’t see his eye, but the pressure from his gaze could be felt on her skin. 

Vainstrel gasped and clutched both her hands. His face was still flushed like her’s, but his eye now glittered. “Special would be truly an understatement of just how deeply marvelous your blood is! Never once have I encountered such a mixture of blood, plasma, and electricty! Normal witch blood restores me to life, but your blood truly puts restoration on a whole new level that was previously unattainable by any of us! I cannot be more grateful for your sacrifice as you help me to attain a further alive state through your blood, plasma, and electricity! Truly, you are unique. You ignite my body in ways no others can.” 

Spark found herself giggling so much that her eyes became wet. “I’m ‘unique’?” 

“Yes, you are, indeed, my dear lady Spark.” 

Spark laid her hand on her heart. A gentle grin spread across her face. Although her face was less heated now, she was still deeply blushing. “I’m so used to being called ‘weird’, but ‘unique’ the way you say it sounds so nice.” 

Vainstrel slightly warmer hands were suddenly on her cheeks and the closeness of his face had her holding her breath. Spark found her lips slightly part. Her eyes, which were about to close, zoned into where the dark circle had been under his eye. Oh, he looks better now. 

Before she could fully close her eyes, she felt Vainstrel’s hands grasping her’s. She could see just how much redder his face was than before. 

“I-I should probably take my leave once more,” said Vainstrel, turning his head away from her. “I must rise up early once more to repeat the story we shall be playing out on stage once more!” 

Spark bit her lip, watching Vainstrel quickly kiss her hands. 

Vainstrel began to walk away, letting his hands slip away from Spark’s. “I must leave. Adieu!” 

Spark found her chest tigthened and she waved, watching him disappear down the alleyway. “Bye, see you next week! I’m excited to see your show!” she yelled behind him. Her eyes met with Vainstrel’s just before he turned the corner. It was like a lightning bolt was hitting her heart. 

Spark dragged herself over to a bench and sat down, sighing. 

“That was over way too fast!” She then slapped both of her cheeks, pursing her lips. “And what is WITH me?! I seriously thought he was going to kiss me! And why would I even ask him about babies. Ugh.” Spark covered her face. “Hah, it’s almost like I’m lusting after him or something!” 

She let out a whine. I wish there was someone I could talk to this about…like, seriously, what is going on with me…Coal’s too stubborn now. I don’t have any friends…

“I really wish he didn’t have to go…I could have done with talking to him more…” 

A familiar organ jingle bounced off the alleyway walls. Spark immeditately lifted her head and pulled out her phone from her pocket. Her lips couldn’t help but curl up. Her eyes glittered. Her cheeks flushed. It was Vainstrel wishing her a good night and a safe trip home. 

*** 

Spark held her hands to her chest as her body trembled. Electricty flittered around her head. Oooo, I’m so nervous!! She tightly shut her eyes. Or am I excited? 

Her eyes glanced down at her usual clothes covering her body as she felt the carriage turn and slow down. Am I dressed okay? She flipped over her VIP pass hanging around her neck and the ticket in her hand. I didn’t see anything about the dress code. Goodness, I’m going to be SOOOO embarassed if I was supposed to dress fancy…maybe I should have, but there’s not really anything fancy in my closet…“ugh.” 

The carriage finally stopped moving. Spark heard the loud clicking of the door opening and light soon poured in through the crack in the door. She slipped out and waved to the driver. “Thank you!” she said, her voice slightly quivering. 

She let out a sigh of relief upon seeing the numerous people around her who were so clearly in casual clothes. Okay, good. “Phew!” I’m not the only one to show up like this! 

Spark followed the flow of people into the large theatre in front of them. Spark’s lips slightly parted in awe at the sheer size of the building. She could see on the outskirts were dense forest, but the area itself was entirely dedicated to the large theatre hall and its entrance. The building itself was a brown-copper color with numerous towering columns that would have looked foreboding had the area not been softly lit like a fairytale otherwise. Instead, it invoked a gentle warmth that hugged the area. 

Even the walkway – beautifully kept, impeccibly shaped cemenet without even so much as a blemish – stretched out far and wide. It would have looked dull if it hadn’t been for the numerous street lamps all around. The cement and its soft light gray color bounced the light back off, truly illuminating the whole area in a way that just wasn’t all that common in Ghopre. 

Spark grasped her ticket tightly in her hand, hugging it close to her chest as she neared the entrance. The sea of people poured inside and soon lined up through numerous ticket entrances. 

Okay, I am so totally feel excited now! Spark’s smile grew and so did the sparks flickering about her head. 

She managed to hit the ticket entrance quickly and handed over her ticket, which was ripped on the perferated edge and the person – a well-dressed zombie – directed her to the very end of the hall, to the door just before “EMPLOYEES ONLY” sign. 

Spark looked down at her ticket. “Row A, Seat 8…” She felt a small spring in her step. I get to see Vainstrel perform! Oh my gosh, I am like the luckiest person alive! Her feet touched the ground between her skips and she entered in through the door at the end of the hall.

She scanned the seats and quickly found her seat – smack-dab in the middle of the front-row. She held her ticket in both hands, looking back and forth between her ticket and her seat. Then she blushed. She hid her face as she sat down in her chair. He. Got Me. Front. Row. SEATS! “SQUEEEEE!” I am SO lucky! And I have that VIP pass as well! She lifted the VIP pass that had slid between her breasts and look at it. We’re only aquaintences me…maybe friends. No need to get excited. He must have invited others…just chill! 

*** 

The lights in the hall suddenly dimmed and the loud chatter all the one instantly silenced. Spark tucked away her phone she had been fiddling around with with a bit of a jump at the sudden change in lighting. The moment her phone hit her pocket, her eyes turned their attention to the stage that had suddenly illuminated. Music poured in from all sides and two women appeared from a hidden platform underneath the stage. The background behind them, perfectly timed, came together as the women full appeared. 

“My love!” exclaimed one of the woman, grasping the hand of the other. “Through the many trials our hearts have gone through, we have finally arrived to what we have dreamed of…” She placed a hand on her heart, her gaze warm and loving. “a marriage between us.” 

“Yes!” exclaimed the other woman, grasping both hands of the woman across from her firmly. “For all the trials we have had to endure, we have safely arrived at this end!” 

The two women started guiding each other across the stage, recounting numerous encounters and trials that they had to endure: their first meeting through the longer-haired woman’s trip to the shorter haired woman’s shop. The many secret meetings and their first kiss. The rage of the long-haired woman’s family and fiancé and the subsequent apologies. Everything boiled down to their unrelenetless love for each other never rescending into the background because they simply knew they were meant to be together. 

Their recount of their trials and tribulations twindled down and the background shifted, revealing them entering into a village, then a pub, and they soon sat down at a table and numerous cast members entered onto the stage and sat down. After a few moments of dialogue, it became obvious that it was the parents of the two women who had come to discuss the wedding details. 

The longer-haired woman announced that she was going to hand pick flowers in the fields for their wedding day – there would be nothing more she would love than flowers picked by her hands. Her parents laughed and remarked she had always done such a thing as a young child for every special occassion and they would have expected nothing less. 

Spark’s eyes tore away from the stage for a moment as it appeared to transition to night and a narrator suddenly appeared, announcing the transition to several days later. I wonder where Vainstrel is… 

Spark sat back in her seat, slightly frowning. This is like, defintely sooo interesting, but I want to see Vainstrel. I can’t even imagine what role he would be playing. It seems like these two are already happy. 

The longer-haired woman playfully ran through the field of flowers, her arms open wide and a basket in her hands. 

“Cynderelle, please! Be careful!” called the shorter-haired woman, reaching out to grab a hold of Cynderelle’s waist.

Cynderelle giggled. “I do apologize…oh! Teitina! Can you grab me those flowers over there?” 

Teitina knocked her forehead on Cynderelle’s shoulder. “I was under the impression that you were flower picking. I am simply here to protect you.” 

“It’s just a field of flowers. What ever could I need protection from?” 

Teitina stood in front of Cynderelle, angling enough so the audience could see her face as she jabbed a finger at her lover’s chest. “You never know what could lying out here. I would prefer to avoid another trial, you know?” 

Cynderelle laughed and leaned foreward, giving Teitina a light kiss on the lips. “I appreciate your concern.” Then she started running off again. Teitina sighed in her wake and followed her off to the other side of the stage. 

The background shift once more, clearly to a different part of the field. Cynderelle came waltzing out like a young child, humming away. She kept leaning over and plucking fake flowers from the false grass on stage. The scene went on for long enough that Spark felt her attention starting to wain. 

Then a mysterious fog started to roll in. Cynderelle, oblivious to what was happening, continued to hum and pick flowers. 

Spark found herself leaning forward, watching at the fog thickened on stage and rolled over the sides. The music, which had been light, slowly started to become more intense each time the fog became denser. 

“Cynderelle! Cynderelle! There you are!” called Teitina, who appeared from the other side of the stage. “Come, we must hurry! The thick fog will cause us to lose us to lose our way!” 

Cynderelle looked up, seeing Teitina. She gave her a pleasant smile. “Oh, it’s surely alright! I’ve been out here many times during fog thicker than this!” 

Teitina stomped forward. “It is not the time to argue! Today was meant to be clear skies, and yet a fog this thick rolled in? I do not like this one bit. We must hur–” 

Cynderelle suddenly screamed as she was pulled into the thickness of the fog by a hand with long fingernails. Numerous audiable gasps popped up through the audience, including from Spark herself. 

Teitina quickly true her sword and pointed it towards the thickness of the fog. “Who is there?! Give me back my Cynderelle now!” 

The sound of metal clanged and out from the the thickest part of the fog was a bright apple-red haired, blue-eyed demon decked out in metal chains, a long cape, and a uniform that consisted of slacks and a double-breasted jacket. His horns protruded out from a head dress on his head. In his arms laid Cynderelle, looking completely knocked out. 

The demon’s lips were curled as his eyes the color of sapphires stared at Teitina. The woman flinched. 

“Cynderelle is no longer yours,” replied the demon. 

Spark gasped and covered her mouth, her eyes glittering upon hearing the voice of the demon reach her ears. It’s Vainstrel!!! 

Her gaze shifted to his eyes – both revealed for once. Her eyes stayed fixated on them for a good moment in with the dramatic pause. Are they both contacts? 

Vainstrel, as this demon character, turned to Cynderelle and gently carassed her cheek. Spark felt the insides of her body twist and her fist ball upon watching the softness in his face. 

“She shall be my wife, Demon Lord Calvin of the Dark Worlds.” 

My wife‘ 

Spark could feel as if she was being stabbed my numerous knifes. She sat back in her chair. Wow, I feel jealous. I mean, that’s not Vainstrel saying that, it’s the character he’s playing…right? Right. Calm down me. You’ve only met Vainstrel a few times before all this. I don’t even know if I’m his friend. 

The thoughts Spark’s was having was cut through by the raging sound of Teitina’s fighting yells as she rushed forward to stab Lord Calvin with her sword. He suddenly disappeared and reappeared on the other side of the stage. “You will not be able to get her – she shall stay asleep within my tower until our wedding day. Nothing but the vanquishing of me shall break this! If you cannot even manage to cut through me at a time like this, when I am not even at my full power, you do not even stand a chance when I am my full being.” 

Lord Calvin (Vainstrel’s character), extended his hand up to the air, “Good day.” 

Spark found herself numb. The sparks that danced around her head were more like miniature lightning bolts and she could feel how they were heating up the air around her. 

If it wasn’t for Teitina’s next scene that was full of rage bringing her back to the play, Spark certainly would have been sent adrift into her own thoughts of what she could only think was lust or maybe, innocently, a crush. 

***

Spark found her fingers interlaced and covering both her mouth and nose watching as Vainstrel’s character, Lord Calvin, and the woman playing Teitina were interlocked in an intense battle on-stage. The music was intesense and blaring. Spark couldn’t even see the stage anymore – all she could see was a world where Demon Lord Calvin was heartbroken and determined, while Teitina was fighting for her own happy ending. 

Lord Calvin knocked away Teitina’s sword with a parry. “Do you know how it feels to have no one left? No one to even know you exist? My presence as a lord is such a fraction of the land my family owns, yet there is no one left!” Lord Calvin thrust his sword forward, Teitina gasping. “I simply cannot let this go on – it’s up to me to ensure our land continues to be with those who have our blood.” 

“I don’t care about your sob story,” replied Teitina, lunging forward, slashing at Lord Calvin. “If it was truly that bad, then anyone should have done!” 

Lord Calvin and Teitina locked swords. Lord Calvin looked Teitina straight in the eye. “You know one else can replace the innocent allure of Cynderelle.” 

Teitina bounced back as Lord Calvin slashed forward. 

“I must restore both my bloodline and the land which we own! Everything is falling, everything is failing! There is nothing more than innocence that could restore such things to a state full of love!” 

Teitina slashed back at Lord Calvin. She suddenly lost her footing and fell to the ground. She crawled backwards and Lord Calvin closed in on her. 

“I love the way she moves, the way she looks at life like her eyes are gleaming. I’ve watched her over and over as she entered the fields and made her way through the forest with no care in the world. And then YOU, you had to show up – taking her love for your own, when you have nothing at stake.” Lord Calvin lifted up his sword. “I shall remove you from this world and have no barrier to having Cynderelle as mine! She shall be my bride and we shall remake our world together!” 

Teitina suddenly grabbed an iron spike that had been laying down beside her, which had knocked over from the fireplace behind her earlier in their fight, and quickly put it up. The spike – at least from the perspective of the audience – went through Lord Calvin’s just before he could even do anything. 

Teitina pushed him off as he held his chest, which now was bleeding. 

“You…” said Lord Calvin. He fell to the ground. “All I simply wanted was to love, be loved, and carry it on to future generations.” 

Teitina stood up, grabbing her sword. “Then you should have tried with someone else.” She stabbed him in the heart once more with her sword. Lord Calvin yelled and soon, he was just left laying there. 

Spark found her whole body trembling and her whole face and her hands were wet with her tears. Oh! Demon Lord Calvin! I would have married you!! 

***

Spark clutched the VIP tightly in her hand as she followed the stream of people out from the theatre hall. The single thought of seeing Vainstrel made sparks flutter around her eyes. Her face brightened as she broke from the flow of the crowd and headed towards the “EMPLOYEE ONLY” door. 

She stopped right in front of the door and flipped over the VIP pass. Her eyes carefully re-read the directions, making note of each step. Her smile grew with each word. She then lifted her eyes to the door and knocked three times in succession, then two slower knocks right after. 

The door opened and smiling at her was a ghost. 

“Hello~!” sang Spark. She lifted up her VIP pass. “I’m Vainstrel’s friend!” 

“Oooooh, so you’re who he keeps talking to,” remarked the ghost.

Spark glanced down at the name tag on the male ghost’s shirt reading “Derrick”. She then turned back to him. “Does he do that often?” 

Derrick snickered for a moment before opening the door all the way. “Come on in.” 

Spark bowed her head and skipped inside. She let go of the VIP pass, allowing it to fall on top of her chest, and walked further inside. 

Spark could hear the bustling sounds of everyone from backstage. People were running around and it looked lively, but there was almost this pregnant tension in the air that Spark could only describe as “deflating”. 

Spark locates Vainstrel who sees her and greets her. Vainstrel goes up to her and gives her a hug, holding her hands, the two of them looking into each other’s eyes. Spark starts to tear up, saying that he did such a great job – she felt so sad when his character died. Vainstrel takes her into his arms (note, he’s still in costume) and is like holds her – I can hear him say he’ll happily take her as his bride instead. Spark starts laughing, pulling away from him, waving her hand up and down, saying he sounds so serious. Vainstrel realizes he’s still in character and apologizes. He tells her to wait there – he’s going to get changed; 

In the midst of the bustling dressing room and some curious glances, Spark heard her name being called loud and clear. She turned around, seeing Vainstrel still in his full-blown Demon Lord Calvin get up with his bright red hair and blue eyes. Spark romantically sighed and gently placed a hand on her cheek seeing Vainstrel close up.

“You have arrived!” exclaimed Vainstrel, suddenly embracing Spark. The strangely warm hug for Vainstrel seriously was making Spark fall into mush. Her eyes became dotted with tears. 

“What might be wrong?” asked Vainstrel, pulling away from Spark. He took one of her hands and held it, while gently wiping away her tears with his other hand. 

Spark’s eyes glittered under the stage lighting that illuminated the backstage. “I could have guessed from the way you normally act, but you’re such an amazing actor! I was totally crushed when you died! The last of the line and having a bride who couldn’t or wouldn’t love you? So heartbreaking!” 

Spark felt Vainstrel’s arms wrap around her. Spark couldn’t help but quiver under feeling Vainstrel’s hands placed so firmly both her hip and her back. His face neared her’s and the sapphire blue contact-covered eyes stared straight into her eyes. “I would happily take you as my bride rather than that Cynderelle.” 

Spark’s shoulders squeezed up as she drew in a breath. Could I? 

One look back into Vainstrel’s eyes and Spark found herself coming back to reality. Her romantic grin shifted just a bit. Her shoulders relaxed. It’s not actually Vainstrel asking me, is it? 

She placed a hand over her mouth and giggled. “You sound so serious! You’re not on stage anymore, you know?” 

Spark’s eyebrows popped as she watched Vainstrel’s cheeks flush such a deep red that it almost matched the wig he was hearing. He pulled away from her, grabbing one of her hands. “G-goodness me, I most certainly am still acting in character! I do apologize, my dear lady Spark! It is often difficult for me to come out of character once I step into the role…it usually takes quite a while to come out of it.” 

“Tee-hee! No need to apologize.” Spark winked at him, slightly tilting her head and poke her cheek. “If I was anyone else, I might have taken you seriously.” 

Vainstrel stared back at Spark, his cheeks still flushed red. She watched him place a hand over his heart and just stare at her for a moment. “I-I do…suppose you are correct.” 

Vainstrel then turned on his heel and held a finger to the air. “I shall be back!” 

Spark nodded. “Okay! Tee-hee.” 

Vainstrel marched off and disappeared behind a partition nearby. Spark gasped hearing all the clatter and chatter going on behind the scenes and she could literally only imagine what was going on. 

Vainstrel reappeared only a few moments later as his usual self – something that looked like an amazing feat considering how many layers of his costume was made from! 

“I do believe I have returned back to normal, my dear lady Spark! Although, I do apologize if Lord Calvin slips through the cracks.”

Spark giggled. She gazed upon his single orange eye. So he really does have two eyes! Why does he always hide one? 

Vainstrel stepped closer and took Spark’s hand into both of his, gently stroking it. “I am so pleased that you have arrived and enjoyed the show. Just the mere thought that you were watching me lifted my spirits and warmed my cold vampire heart!” 

Now that Vainstrel was closer and his make-up was removed, she could clearly see the dark circles under his eye. 

“Oh, Vainstrel!” gasped Spark, grasping both of his cheeks. Vainstrel yelped. “You look worn out again! You gotta drink some of my blood!” 

Vainstrel’s cheeks slightly flushed. “Are you sure?” 

Spark pouted, pinching both of his cheeks. “Don’t question me!” 

Vainstrel let out a small chuckle. “Very well…let us go get a bit privacy.” 

Vainstrel took her hand and lead her to the other side of the stage and slipped behind one of the curtain pieces. From there, he carressed her head and shoulder. Just the anticipation got Spark squirming! She could hear the sounds of Vainstrel’s fangs growing and his cold breath on her shoulder.

She quietly gasped as Vainstrel teeth sunk into her skin. She found her toes wriggling around in her boots with each sip of blood Vainstrel took. Small moans exited her mouth. Why does this feel SO GOOD?! It’s like being pricked by needles, except it feels better! 

In what felt like mere seconds, Vainstrel licked her puncture wounds and released his hands from her body. Spark felt a bit deflated, although at the same time numb. 

“Are you alright, my dear lady Spark? The frown upon your face does not suit you.” 

Spark waved her hand. “I’m fine, I’m fine!” I just wanted MORE, but I can’t very well say that, can I?! 

Vainstrel out stretched his own hand. “Come, let us meet the others in the cast!”

Spark found her face lighting up once more, followed by the flickers of electcity around her head. She wrapped her arm around his and followed Vainstrel out from behind the curtain. 

She and Vainstrel’s heads turned in the direction of snicker. A duotoned short-haired vampire with their fangs proudly hanging out out of their mouth chucked a small empty vial of blood into the garbage can near by where they had been leaning.

Spark turned to Vainstrel, watching her vampire companion’s face light up. He extended his free arm forward. “Ah, yes! This is Laserian! Surely you must remember them as one of the creatures in which I sent out as Demon Lord Calvin!” 

“Heeeeey!” said Laserian, walking right up to Spark. They put out a fist. “Nice to meetcha!” 

Spark lightly bumped Laserian’s fist. She smiled at him, although her eyes reflected her own confusion. “It’s nice to meet you too!” 

Laserian’s smile turned to Vainstrel. “Must be nice to get fresh blood.” They then light smacked Vainstrel on the shoulder, causing Vainstrel to glare for a brief moment. “Must be a perk of having a non-vampire girlfriend, huh?” 

Spark immeditately felt her cheeks heat up. Wide-eyed, she exchanged looks with Vainstrel to see him equally as flustered as she was. Oh goodness! As amazing as that would totally be….! 

“I do not have such a lady friend.” 

Laserian raised an eyebrow. They pointed over to Spark. “She’s not your girlfriend?” 

“No,” replied both Spark and Vainstrel with absolutely no hestiation.  

Laserian’s eyes bulged. Their head darted back and forth between Vainstrel and Spark before stopping on Vainstrel. “Then who the hell were you gushing over for the past few weeks then?! I could’ve sworn you had a girlfriend or something!” 

Vainstrel nonchalantly extended his hand to Spark. “I was indeed expressing my affections for my dear Lady Spark. That very assumption is correct. However, her being my significant other is not.” 

Spark flinched for a moment, hearing the tiniest wavier in Vainstrel’s voice as he denied their relationship being of the romantic sort. Could he…no, me, no way. Shush. 

Spark and Vainstrel both turned to the small crowd that had gathered. Every single one of them had some variation of surprise written all over their face. 

“She’s not your girlfriend?” 

“Who gushes over someone like that when you’re not even together?” 

“What the heck?!” 

A braided purple-haired quarter-dragon person extended out there hands. “You’re only friends?” 

Vainstrel and Spark exchanged looks. Spark tapped her cheek. Hmm…I don’t think we ever thought about it. She turned back to the crew. “Hmm…I don’t know if we’re even that? I don’t think we thought too much about it. We’ve only hung out three times so far.” 

Vainstrel grabbed Spark’s hand gently. Spark’s face slightly flushed, looking into Vainstrel’s single orange eye. A soft smile was written across his face that almost seemed melancholic. “I have not thought about it much myself, however, I suppose it would be alright if we were to call our relationship ‘friendship’.” 

Spark seemed to melt in place. I can call him my friend! “Yeah, sure. Let’s go with that.” 

Spark felt nothing but warmth all around her. Electricty flickered around her head like flowers. In fact, Vainstrel and Spark were gazing at each other so lovingly, you could almost see bubbles and flowers blooming all around them. 

The people around them all exchanged looks. 

“You two have only hung out THREE times? Only three?!” remarked one of the cast members. 

Laserian and another vampire, Jancis (who was wearing a golden necklace with her name written on it), both pointed to each other, than back to Vainstrel and Spark. 

“What the hell?” exclaimed Laserian.

Jancis walked up to Spark, lightly cupping her hands together. “I don’t know if you’re aware, but it is very strange for people to just let vampires suck their blood for no reason. We don’t even normally drink fresh bood at this point either.” Jancis leaned into Spark, raising up a curious eyebrow. “Is there any particular reason why you let a guy like him suck your blood?” 

Spark slightly blushed. His biting feels good. She forced a smile on her face. “Tee hee, I’ve always been a bit of a strange one!” She lightly clonked herself on the head and stuck out her tongue. “I don’t mind Vainstrel taking some of my blood – he’s actually really funny!” 

Jancis and Laserian exchanged glances, then shrugged. She then bowed her head slightly. “I’m Jancis, it’s pleasure to meet you.” 

“Hi, I’m Spark! I guess you just witnessed Vainstrel and I becoming friends, tee hee!” 

Jancis laughed, although Spark could tell that it was super awkward. 

Vainstrel grasped Spark’s hand. “Come! We shall meet and greet with everyone! It is of the uptmost importance that we do such a thing!” 

Spark covered her mouth, smirking underneath. “Ooooh, and why might that be?” 

Vainstrel got down on a knee, prompting a gasp from the cast and crew watching. He held onto one of her hands with one of his. “I humbly invite you to our aftershow celebration, in which will make our way to the restaurants in the town beside the theatre lot and scoff down mounds of food in celebration of a hard day’s work after opening night!” He placed his free hand over his heart. “I would love nothing more than for you to be by my side as we make our way through the streets and the food set upon our plates!” 

Spark immeditately fell to her knees, blushing. She grasped both his hands and brought it to her heart. “Oh, yes, Vainstrel! I would love to!” It’s like a date!! “Tee hee!” 

Spark barely even noticed the mumbles around her, accusing her and Vainstrel of being in love. Although a single thought passed through her that it might be nice if she was in love with Vainstrel. I just really want him to bite me more. 

***

Spark firmly grasped Vainstrel’s hand as she giggled. She held onto the side of the carriage and hopped on out, allow Vainstrel to guide her safely to the ground. 

“I shall see you another day soon, my dear Lady Spark. It was a pleasure spending the evening with you.” Vainstrel took Spark’s hand and gently kissed it. 

Spark’s face softened. “Of course! I so cannot wait for the next time we hang out together.” 

“Even if it must be a while until we reunite once more in the flesh, we shall be sending electronic messages to each other all the more.” 

“Yeah.” Spark let out a pleasant sigh. She then lifted Vainstrel’s hand up to her lips and gave it a kiss. 

She nonchalantly smiled and turned her eyes up at Vainstrel. Then she burst out laughing because the vampire seemed frozen in place while his face got redder and redder by the second.

“Tee hee! What’s wrong? Did my kiss embarass you?” 

Vainstrel bowed head and hid his face with a part of his cape. “I do apologize…it is most unusual for me to receive something such as kiss anywhere, including on my own hand.” 

Spark leaned in, holding Vainstrel’s hand up near her lips. Her smile twisted and there was a playful glint in her eye. “Ooooooh?” She watched Vainstrel peer up behind his cape. “Maybe I should do it some more next time?” He is just so cute! 

Vainstrel lowered his cape, although Spark could still see he was blushing. “V-very well, if that is what you wish!” 

Spark gave Vainstrel’s hand another kiss. “Tee-hee! You bet I do!” 

Vainstrel gave Spark another kiss on the back of her hand and waved at her as he hoped back into the carriage. “See you another day, Lady Spark. I shall request your presence once more!” 

Spark waved her fingers. “Byeeeee!” 

The carriage rode off and Spark skipped back into the house. Oh my gosh, did you see how he blushed?! She covered her mouth and giggled. Almost makes me wonder how else he would react to other things? 

Spark reached the door to her family home, only to catch a glimpse of someone sitting on the bench beside the staircase. There was a man slightly older than her, painting his fingernails…or at least, he looked like was, but he was stopped in some sort of glare at her. 

A smile rose on Spark’s face and she waved. “Hey, Coal!” 

“…” Coal continued to stare at her. 

“Painting your nails again?” 

“Mmm.” 

Little knots twisted within Spark’s body as the man’s glare bore into her. 

There was an awkward silence between the two of them. Spark scratched her cheek. “Is something wrong?” 

“…nothing, girl.” 

Spark nodded. “Well, see you later!” She opened the door and slipped inside. Oh no, did Coal see that? I really hope he doesn’t tell the rest of the family…goodness, that’s going to be like, so totally annoying if he does! Ugh…

As Spark made the way down her hallway and into her room, her mind floated back to Vainstrel and his sweet blushing face. He was so cute. She pulled her phone form her pocket and grasped it with both hands. I wonder what else I can say and do to make him look like that again!  

She swooned.

Then she ran her fingers over her phone and began typing the next message to Vainstrel. 

**END** 

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[UNEDITED FIRST DRAFT] Wrist & the Snake (Temp. Title)

PLEASE NOTE: This is a ROUGH DRAFT. It is the VERY FIRST DRAFT OF THE STORY. YOU are the very first person to read it – I haven’t even read it in its entirety yet!

You WILL come across numerous issues including:

  • spelling mistakes;
  • grammar issues;
  • weak sentence structure;
  • repeated words;
  • unnecessary words;
  • missing words;
  • lack of details/descriptions;
  • confusing details/descriptions;

Critiques/criticisms, while appreciated, most likely will be discarded at this stage! Thank you.

Additional Note: Doodles, Sketches, and Artwork may be added over time. These are not the story illustrations! They do feature characters and places within the story, however.

The air was extremely crisp and fresh and smelled of freshly fallen rain. Everywhere he looked, Wrist could see the glistening of rain that had just passed overhead giving all the greeny a dazzling glossy sheen that twinkled in the sunlight that was finally shining through after two days of heavy downpour. 

The dampness was of no matter to Wrist though – he still rushed towards the trees and wrapped himself around it, using his feet to work his way up to the branches of these tall, wide, and sturdy trees that were quite a bit aways from the village. He quickly reached the top of the tree tops, gazing up above. While he couldn’t see the village very from there, he could certainly see all the smoke floating up from the homes. 

His face darkened at the site of the two of them, despite the brightness of the sun that was just so close to setting, but still high up enough in the sky to keep it blue in color. 

“Ngh.” Wrist pushed himself onto his hands and knees from where he was sitting on the tree branch and worked himself down the large branch. Just before the branch got too thin for him, he stood on his feet and carefully balanced on the branch. He looked down at the ground far beneath him. While his stomach turned a bit, he couldn’t help but smile. What if I fell and died right here? Would anyone even find me? 

With that thought, he lept across onto the sturdy, large tree branch across from where he had been. 

“WRIST!” 

“WHA!” 

Wrist suddenly found himself tripping backwards and falling. Without a second thought, he grabbed onto the branch he had just fallen from, allowing it to bend and lower him only a short distance from the ground. He gasped for air as he let himself down, holding his chest. He supoorted himself with his other hand on his knees and glared at the young woman, only a few years older than him, who was glaring right back. 

The young woman who stood in front of him wore her dark crismon hair up in a tight bun and minus a few looks hairs raining down in the front of her face was all pulled back and tucked away. Her arms and legs were well-toned. Her body was wrapped in a tunic with a large belt with the village’s usual markings upon it. Her upper arms and lower legs were wrapped tightly with strips of fabric. Overlayed on the belt shaping the tunic was a thinner belt with numerous small bags, items, and sharp objects. Slung over her shoulders and hanging by her waist were weapons. Her lilac-colored eyes bore into Wrist’s scowling face. 

The young woman yanked out one of her throwing knives, pointing it right into Wrist’s face. “What do you think you’re doing again?” 

Wrist clicked his tongue. “You almost got me killed!” 

“You’re going to be killed if you don’t come back.” 

A sacrastic smile spread across Wrist’s face. “Are you saying you’ll kindly do that for me?” 

The woman twirled the throwing knife in her hand and slipped back into its designated pouch on her weapon’s belt. “Absolutely not.” 

Wrist and the young woman both continued to leer at each other. The young woman balled her hand and threw her thumb over her shoulder. “The rain’s cleared and the first thing you do is run away. You’re gonna make your mother cry.” 

“Lilac…” 

“Don’t you dare ‘Lilac’ me.” 

Wrist groaned and rolled his eyes, turning on his heel. He walked back to the tree he had just been on. He wrapped his arms around the tree, only to feel the back of his cloak being yanked on. “Seriously, Wrist, come on.” 

Wrist let go and turned to Lilac. “I’m not going back right now.” 

“I know you have jobs to do.” 

“I do, but not while Bulb and the others are around.” 

Lilac lifted up a fist, shaking it in front of Wrist’s face. “You just need to give them a good WHACK and they’ll stop bothering you.” 

Wrist pushed her out of the way, walking away from her. “That’s easy for you to say! You’re a warrior! I’m just a nobody.” 

“…”

Wrist squatted down to the ground, holding his head. He could feel the rain drops rolling off from the trees on the back of his neck. The cold water droplets felt calming to his nerves, but just couldn’t get rid of the deep sensataion that seemed to be boring a hole into his stomach.

“…what were they saying?” 

Wrist could feel his eyes gloss over. “The…the same as usual.” 

He could feel Lilac closer to him, but she wasn’t touching him at all. This wasn’t too surprising for her. In fact ,this conversation wasn’t too surprising. 

“They…were calling my mother a whore again and that…I hang out here…in the forests.” Wrist hugged his legs. “They were making jokes about me getting bit and dying by a snake.” 

Wrist stood up from the ground and moved over to the tree he had climbed earlier, leaning against it on his back. He covered his face with a hand, glancing over at Lilac. Lilac’s normally stern face appeared soft and her ears completely open to his words. 

“It’s pretty much messed up though that I want a snake to bite me just to me out of my misery.” Wrist hung his head and chuckled. It was a low chuckle just full of melancholy. “They don’t even know how much I want that.”

“That…isn’t why you always come to the woods is it?” 

Wrist sighed. “No.” He shook his head. “I come here to be alone. You know, the trees don’t judge me and it’s the only time I feel calm.” Wrist lifted himself off the tree he had been resting on, turning to place one hand upon its trunk. He raised his head, looking up at all the glistening branches. “I almost forget I’m even alive when I come here. It’s like I just melt in with everything.” 

Wrist looked at Lilac. He watched her lips twitch like they often did for literally everything – she was thinking. Finally she tapped her fist into her palm and she nodded. “Okay, Wrist. I shall let you stay out here…but please don’t get bit by a snake. They really are out here: dishonest, sneaky, and posionous.” Lilac then sighed. “The last thing I need to do is inform your mother died because of something that could have been easily prevented.” 

Wrist waves his hand at her. “Yeah, yeah, okay.”  

With that, he began to walk away from the trees and deeper into the woods. It didn’t take too long before Lilac was out of sight. The subconscious thought wondering if Lilac had left on her own or had he really wandered far enough away to no longer have her in view surfaced, but wasn’t fully formed. His shoulders shurgged and he found himself getting close to the trees surrounded by numerous shrubs. 

Wrist’s shoulders were heavy and he found himself no longer being able to stand up. His legs collapsed and he laid his back against the tree for support. He allowed his whole body to go limp, loosely gazing at the greenery all around him. 

“Why did she even have to have me?” 

He moved his hands into his legs and slumped forward. His whole body was heavy. He was completely enveloped in his own inner turmoil that swirled around like dark storm clouds that threatened to suffocate him. 

“I don’t mind her and it just being us and all…why is it so weird to be without a dad even? Not my fault he left and never came back. I think mom really love him though.” 

He sat back up, allowing the tree to support him behind him. “Would things be any different even if I had my dad around?” He paused for a moment, feeling the swirling turmoil within his body. Nothing cleared – instead, the turmoil thickened. 

Wrist winced. “No…I don’t think so. Gods, they’re jerks…calling my mom a whore!” He pouted and hugged his knees. “Well, maybe they wouldn’t call her that…where do they even get off calling her that…grrrr…” 

Wrist let his body fall onto the grass beside him. “I just want it to end already. I wish I could just kill myself, but that seems too hard.” He looked up to the sky, seeing the tree’s leaves shaking, almost as if they were mocking him. “No one care anyway, except maybe mom.” 

“Are you shhhhure about that?” 

Wrist jolted up from where he was laying with a gasped, head whipping towards the slightly deep, soft voice with a subtle hiss. 

Staring up at him was a grey-green snack with accents of yellow. Wrist watched as the snake, who had been peeking its head out from the bushes, slithered out from underneath and towards him. 

Wrist yelped and immeditately stood on his feet, stumbling away from the tree that had once been supporting him. 

All the tension and turmoil that he had been feeling had immeditately disipitated like salt into water. It was soon replaced absolute terror at the sight of such a snake so close to him.

There are actual snakes here?! 

The snake stopped several feet away from the absolutely petrified wrist. It’s eyes smiled at Wrist, only caused him further unease. Even the mouth of the snake seemed to curl up in an equally friendly smile. “I can ashuuuuure you, I am not poisonousssss…at leasht, not to large animalsss such as yourssself.” 

Wrist blinked HARD. And his mouth dropped. He unconsciously leaned forward, just staring into the face of the snake. It TALKS?! 

“I alsssssso have no interessst in biting you,” added the snake. 

Wrist couldn’t help but scream! “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!!!!!! A TALKING SNAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKE!” WHAT IS UP WITH THAT?!

“My name is Ssserpensss and yesss, indeed, I can speak.” 

“You have a NAME?”

“Yesss. Don’t you?” 

Wrist leaned forward, compeltely wide-eyed, his face completely facing the snake. “Yeah, but I ain’t telling you it!” 

“It isss fine for now.” 

Wrist took a step back and turned around. He held his head, shaking it. “A snake…a TALKING snake…oh gods, this is worse than a poisonous snake! Why can something like that even talk anyway!” I’ve never even heard anything about that before. 

“I wass born with thiss ability.”

Wrist halfway turned his body to look at the snake. His mouth gapped open and his brow furrowed. “How…?” 

“Mussst you really ask such a question? Sssimilar to you, no doubt.” 

Wrist turned fully around, sighing. He covered half his face and shook his head. “I didn’t mean it like that.” He then put one finger into the air and continued. “I’m wondering how you even have the ability to talk in the first place. I’ve never even heard of snakes doing such a thing.” 

“It indeed isss not very common, even amongssst us snakesss.” 

“What kind of snake are you?” Wrist rasied an eyebrow. 

Serpens paused for a moment and cocked its head. “Hmm…I sssuppose I don’t really know. I have been alone for a very long time.” 

Wrist put his hands on his hips. “Alone? Just how old are you?” 

Serpens slithered forward. “I am sssstill fairly young, but I have no parentsss that I know of – therefore I cannot answer such a question.” 

Wrist pouted. “Hmm…” 

Wrist glanced over to the tree close by him, then walked over and sat down. It was then he realized that his facial muscles and his whole body had started to relax. Wow, he thought. 

He watched Serpens slither on over to him, now only about a foot away. Wrist crossed his legs, allowing the snake a bit more room to slither forward. Wrist himself leaned down, curiously looking into Serpens face. “So, you’re Serpens?” 

“Yeeesss, that is correct.” 

“If you have no parents, how’d you get that name?” 

“I sssimply named myself once I realized how helpful it is to have a thing to be called beyond ‘ssssnake’.” 

Wrist crossed his arms, closed his eyes, and began to nod. “Makes a lot of sense. There’s a lot of snakes out there.” 

“Yess, indeed there are many.” 

Wrist uncrossed his arms and leaned on his hands, using his knees like a tabletop to prop them up. “You are so strange. I’ve never heard anything about talking snakes before – just of being poisonous, dishonest, and overall bad.” 

Serpens seemed to smile. “Asssss I sstated earlier, I am poisonousss to ssmall animalss, but not large onesss such as yourself. I am aware that usss ssnakes have a poor reputation, but I can ashure you that for many of usss, it is sssimply not the case.” 

Wrist chuckled. “So the snake would say.” 

Serpens cackled back. “I sssee you have a ssense of humor!” 

Wrist’s eyebrows rose. No way, I’m boring. 

Serpens cocked its head. “Iss there something wrong?” 

Wrist turned his head slightly away, pouting. “Not really.” 

“Ah…isss it worry that I perhapss am truly bad?” 

Wrist gasped and shook his head. “No! Not at all! I’ve never believed in that crap anyway.” 

“Ooh, that is fasssscinating. The origin of such a reputation stemss from another planet, after all, and has entered popular thought in many placesss, from what I can understand/” 

A giant smile rose across Wrist’s face and he snapped his fingers. “HA! I knew it!” 

Wrist watched as Serpens snapped backwards for a brief moment. Wrist scratched the back of his head, laughing. “Ah…sorry about that. I just…I’m sick of hearing about how evil snakes are from my village. It’s getting tiring. I don’t even know why they say crap like that, but it’s annoying. I didn’t think that was true.” 

“Ah, ssso you are from the nearby village?”

Wrist nodded. “Yeah. I live there with my mother.” 

Serpens seemed to frown. “You mentioned that sshe would be the only one to misssss you if you had died.” 

Wrist suddenly felt the heaviness from other creep in over his shoulders and over his body. Wrist downcasted his gaze to the damp grass underneath him. He balled his pants into his heads. 

Serpens slithered closer to Wrist, his head hovering above Wrist’s knee. Wrist pulled back a little on pure reaction. He eased himself back into place after taking a deep breath. “May I ask what is trouble you?” 

“…” I can’t do that. 

Wrist stayed in his downcasted, balled fist position for what felt like forever. HIs hands became all sweaty and hot, contrasting with the cold he felt inside. Serpens also seemed to be frozen in place, on periodically blinking up at Wrist. 

“You sseem very troubled,” remarked Serpens, breaking through the silence. “May I offer my assssssistance?” 

Wrist shook his head. “I…can’t bother you with it.” 

“You are not a bother to me.” 

Wrist turned to Serpens, bitting his lower lip. His eyes widened. I can actually talk to him? Will he make fun of me? Wrist glanced over to the side, briefly pouting. No, I don’t think Serpens is like that at all. 

Wrist leaned forward, looking at Serpens. He opened his mouth, feeling the slightest smile on his face…and then froze. Fear hugged his lower waist. “I…I can’t do that.” 

“Do you know the reason you cannot?” 

Wrist frowned. “I don’t have any confidence in either one of us, so I don’t really want to talk about it.” 

Serpens tongue briefly lashed out of his mouth. “I ssseee.”

Serpens’s friendly smile seemed to reappear on his face. The snake lifted its body a bit higher, almost reaching Wrist’s eye level. “If you do not mind, could I perhapss learn your name now?” 

Wrist’s lips part. “Ah…yeah. I’m…Wrist.” 

“It is nice to meet you, Wrisssst.” 

A small smile made its way across Wrist’s lips. The tension that had hugged him earlier seemed to crack underneath the weight of such an earthshattering act against his inner turmoil. 

“You can tell me more when you are ready.” 

The smile on Wrist’s face grew. “Sure.” 

Wrist turned his gaze back to the sky, noticing that the blue sky was tinted orange. He looked back to Serpens, who appeared to have looked up in the same direction as him. 

“It mussst be time for you to be heading back to our home.” 

Wrist groaned. “I don’t wanna.” 

“Once night fallssss, finding your way back will be that much more difficult.” 

Wrist clicks his tongue. “I’ll be fine.” He held the back of his head. “No one’s gonna miss me anyway.” 

Suddenly, Serpens was in his face, hissing loudly. His large, sharp fang were beared and his tongue lashed. 

Wrist yelped and find himself crawling backwards. “SHEESH!” he gasped. “I got it! I got it! I’ll head back!” 

Wrist took one final look at Serpens – who suddenly appeared calm and smile one more, seemingly waving good-bye with his tail – and ran away, all the way back to the village.

“Ugh!” Dang that snake! He really gave me a scare…I don’t think he meant any harm. I don’t really want to go back, but I don’t really want to see what Serpens would do if I didn’t… 

***  

Wrist slipped in-between the darkened parts of the village’s roads, keeping his head down as to not be seen. It only took a few minutes, but he soon came to a door with a glowing light through the window and smoke curling up from the chimney. He opened the door quietly and slipped inside. 

“Wrist?!” exclaimed a voice, rather sing-songy. 

A forced smile popped onto his face in meer reaction to the voice. Peering out from behind an open doorframe was an older woman with rather youthful features. Her face was calm and cheerful, but there seemed to be an air of bubbling emptiness about her. 

“Hi mom.” 

The older woman placed a hand on her cheek. “Out playing in the woods again?” She chuckled. 

“Yeah…” 

“I’m glad you came back in time for dinner – it’s almost ready.” 

Wrist nodded and slipped into the kitchen just as his mother disappeared back into it. He watched her go back to the stove, adding a few last pinches of herbs to the stew that was boiling on the stove. 

Wrist walked over to a washbasin and poured out some water, rubbing his hands and face clean with the lukewarm water. He then dried them quickly with a towel hanging above it. He looked even further up, seeing an adorably framed photo with his mother that was signed with her name, Armella. How could dad ever even leave her? She’s beautiful even now. Is he stupid? 

Wrist let out a sigh. Not that it would probably matter. His eyes looked at his mother, who seemed completely oblivious to the way Wrist was pouting and mulling over everything. 

Wrist slipped into the dining room table, situated in the middle of the rather large kitchen. He sat back, just looking down at the placements as his thoughts wandered. His eyes traversed the intricate designs of the faded placemat and his eyes couldn’t help but be drawn to the snake hidden in the back corner of the illustration. 

clack 

His head shifted to see his mother placing down a cup of water beside him. “It should only be about a minute.” 

He could see the snake illustration reflected in the water.

“Hey, mom?” 

Armella stopped for a moment, her gentle smile like bubbles floating in the air. “Yes, Wrist?” 

Wrist tapped the snake on the placement with his fingers. “How did snakes get such a bad reputation anyway?” 

Wrist turned his gaze to his mother. His eyes slightly widened in surprise. His mother’s normally relaxed eyes squinted ever so slightly and her brow folded. Her smile shrunk into a loosely pursed pout. Has she made that before? 

“What…a strange thing to ask!” remarked Armella. Her usual smile returned back to her face and she turned around, going back to the stove. Wrist could see her shutting off the stove and ladeling out the stew into large bowls on top of a tray that also contained bread and a small salad. 

Wrist grabbed the back of his head, scratching the nap of his neck awkwardly, glancing down at the snake illustration. I think it’s just weird we’re all afraid of snakes for no reason. Is it really that strange? Wrist pouted. …Serpens is probably the strange one. Is it even worth mentioning it… “Nah…”

Wrist’s mother brought over both trays skillfully like a veteran waitress at a restaurant. “Did you say something?” she asked, placing the trays down on the table.

“Ah!” Wrist looked up at her and then to his food, then back at his mother who situated herself across from her. “Liliac. She mentioned there was snakes around when…she tried to get me to come back today. And I was wondering why everyone is so afraid of snakes.” Wrist ripped a piece of bread and dipped it within the stew. He could feel his stomach tighten. He stuffed the soaking bread into his mouth, attempting to relax his own nerves. 

“Oh!” Armella laughed. “So that’s what it is! Lilac, that girl!” Armella took a spoonful of stew and blowed on it. Wrist looked like she was on the verge of humming. 

Wrist hung his head. What is she thinking? 

“But we’re not talking about Lilac, are we? I think I know something about why the village doesn’t like snakes.” 

Wrist’s whole body perked up. Every single sound in the room seemed to amplify as if his ears had just popped and cleared. “You do?!” 

Armella laughed. “Yes. I think I do, anyway.” 

Wrist found himself leaning forward and his mother putting down her spoon, leaning forward herself. Both of them supported their heads with their hands and their elbows on the table. 

“There was this really common story growing up about a young girl who was tricked by a talking snake into stealing an apple that she wasn’t supposed to touch at all and ended up hurting not just herself, but everyone else.” 

Wrist felt himself flinch. ‘Talking snake…’

Armella suddenly burst out laughing. “I always thought that was such a silly story! A talking snake? How can such a thing even exist?” 

Wrist went pail. “Heh…y-yeah…” he mumbled, although inside, his mind couldn’t help but float back to Serpens and his friendly demenaor. Maybe…he was actually trying to hurt me. 

“I think it was to just help us young ones not get close to snakes. They’re poisonous, after all!” 

The lightness of Armella was almost blinding. 

The light bubbliness of Armella contrasted greatly with Wrist, who was drowning in a mess of confusion that knotted and twisted him in all sorts of ways he couldn’t even quite describe. 

“Ah!” gasped Armella. “I forgot!” She then giggled, lifting up her hand. “I also heard there was a really bad snake infestation when my parents were growing up. They got rid of all the snakes, but it was very bad – I heard a lot of people died and homes were lost in the process of trying to get rid of them all. I’m sure everyone is still scarred from that!” 

Wrist watched his mother pick up her spoon and start downing the stew quickly. He watched her smile spread from ear to ear as the whole tray started to be cleared. Every single thing about his mother was light and bubbly. 

I…who is this woman and how is she my mother. She’s so happy. 

“Wrist, eat your food before it turns cold.” 

“Yeah…” 

Wrist lifted up his fork for the salad and began to dig in. This can’t even turn cold. It’s already cold. 

***

Wrist tossed onto his side and grumbled. Could he really have been trying to trick me? His lips twitched in thought. And that guy seemed to friendly too…

Wrist stared at his wall, only illuminated by the moonlight shining through the blinds of his window. The slight cracks in the wall reminded Wrist a lot of the movements Serpens had made as he had silthered closer to him during the day. What would he want with me though? I’m just a depressed kid who wants to kill himself. No one, except maybe my mother, wants me around and honestly, I’m so tired of all of this. He said he wasn’t poisonous to me…but maybe he was lying…? 

Where’d that story of the girl and the talking snake come from anyway? What kind of fairytale was that? Well, I guess it showed a good moral…but does that apply to Serpens? 

Wrist’s eyes went wide. He pulled his blanket up to his chin, continuing to stare at the moonlit wall. Whoa! What if that guy’s a demon just pretending to be a snake? There was something off about him too…rightt? …

Wrist relaxed his body with a sigh. “Nah…” he whispered into the dark. Serpens is a lot kinder…than…most people…I…know…..

And with that last thought trailing off, Wrist dozed off into a deep sleep. 

Wrist hugged his bookbag close to his chest, walking through the wide-open space that lead directly to the school billing. His whole body was tight. Why couldn’t there just be another way to school? he whined to himself – something he did on an almost daily basis.

Unlike most buildings in the village, the school only had a single road leading directly to it. Wrist could have easily slipped past everyone anywhere else like he often did to get home without being seen, but the school building was just an open walkway with no alternate routes. He couldn’t help but wince. 

He let out a sharp gasp as two arms hit his shoulders. Wrist’s face went pale at the deep voice he could hear beside him. “Heeey, son of a whore, you still didn’t get bit yet?” Wrist didn’t even want to look up. He could already tell the guy speaking to him was smirking. The middle of Wrist’s abdomin prickled like needles. 

The other boy there cackled. “What are you waiting for?” His grip tightened on Wrist’s shoulder. “No one cares about you anyway.” 

Wrist’s legs still moved forward, but his eyes were frozen and glued to the ground in front of him. His vision was blurry as his eyes glossed over.

His book back was ripped from his arms. 

“HEY!” yelped Wrist, finally looking up at his bullies. Their faces were dark and their grins sharp. Wrist watched as his bookbag’s contents were poured out in the middle of the street. His lunch containers spilled open, its contents going all over the ground. 

The bullies cackled. 

“Oh no, the wittle son of a whore lost his lunch!” 

“Maybe he should go suck a dick like his mother does!” 

Wrist put up his hand, as if he was going to reach out, but completely stopped. Why do they always…

“YEOWCH!” 

Wrist gasped, looking at both bullies. Scowling at both of them was Lilac, who had single-handedly lifted them both up by the wrist. Her lips were slightly pursed and a single eyebrow was raised. “Bulb, Ginko, stop bothering him.” She tossed them to the ground, Bud and Ginko’s hands landing smack-dab in the middle of the soup that had spread itself across the ground. The partially disgusted look on their faces only lifted Wrist’s mood ever so slightly.

Lilac leaned forward, pointing a throwing knife into their faces. The two bullies flinched. “If Wrist really goes and gets bit by a snake, I’m blaming the both of you. Stop calling his mother a whore simply because he doesn’t have a father and stop suggesting he does things that hurt him.” 

A smile slowly appeared on Wrist’s face. Lilac actually showed up. 

His smile dropped the moment and saw Bulb and Ginko glancing back at him. Their once petrified faces twisted upward. 

“Wow, the son of the whore needs a glrl to defend him? What’d you do? Sleep with her too? You’re pathetic! Just go back to the brothels!” 

Lilac proceeded to kick both bullies into the head, their heads thumping the spilled books on the floor. 

I…I let Liliac defends me. I…what kind of person am I? Wrist held his head and glanced up Lilac, who eyed him back with a question in her eyes. 

Wrist turned around. I can’t burdern someone with something like this! And then he dashed away, in the opposite direction of the school.

He could hear the cackling yelps of the bullies behind him. “That’s right! Run away! Go back to your brothel! Or better yet, go back into the forest and don’t come back! Whore boy!” 

The faintest sound of Lilac’s feet hitting the two bullies resounded in the air, but Wrist dare not look back. 

Wrist ran and ran and ran, passing through the backstreets and making his way out of the village and into the wide-open forest who seemed to have its arms open wide for him. “Stop calling her a whore, stop calling me a whore, stop it, stop it, stop it,” huffed Wrist underneath his breath over and over again as he ran.

The trees seemed to thicken wherever he was. 

THUNK 

KA-THUMP 

Wrist tripped over a large tree root and fell face first into the dirt. His nose shot up in pain. 

It was just the thing to crack him.

Tears began to rain down his face. He yanked at the grass on the ground in front of him as if it were his own hair. His sobs reached the air and he drew his head back. “STOP. CALLING. MY. MOTHER. A. WHORE!” 

He allowed his head to drop back to the ground. His forehead kissed the dirt. His shoulders twitched with each haggard breath. “Stop telling me I’m too sensitive. Stop telling me to suck dick. Stop assuming I’m just like my mom and stop assuming she’s something she’s not. Stop making fun of me for not knowing my dad and stop…stop it. Stop it. STOP. IT!” 

Wrist drew his knees underneath his chest. “I get it, I get it. I’m not wanted, I’m not needed, and everyone would be better off without me and my stupid sensitives and existence around! I’m a terrible person who has to rely on others for help and I can’t even defend my own mother! I’m pathetic!” 

“I thought I heard a familiar voice.” 

Wrist’s tear-stained, dirt-caked face turned into the direction of the voice. Slithering up from behind the tree was the smiling snake, Serpens. Wrist sniffled, his bottom lip quivering. “W-what do you want?” he asked nasally…after all, his nose was stuffed from all his crying. 

“You ssseem upset. Why are you crying?” inquired Serpens. Wrist watch Serpens stop only a few inches away from his face. 

Serpens was smiling, but unlike the mocky smirk of the bullies, Serpens’s smile was gentle and caring. The snake’s eyes, although certainly worthy of the fright they had initially given Wrist, still seemed to be filled with kindness and light from the sun reflecting upon it. 

Wrist turned away. “I’m done.” 

“Done with what?” 

“Everything. I’m completely done with everything. I’m done being bullied. I’m done not having a dad. I’m done having to rely on Lilac to defend me and my mom having to help me with everything. I’m done being worthless and being alive. I don’t want it anymore. I’m better not being here at all.” 

“Oh, dear. This is the ssstate in which you are in?” 

Wrist shoved his hand at Serpens, hitting the snake’s scaly lips. “Just poison me already.” 

Serpens gently bumped Wrist’s hand away with its head. “I have already told you, my poison does not work on animalsss as large as you.” 

Wrist whimpered. “I remember.” 

“And even if I could, I have no such interest in poisoning you.” 

Wrist got to his knees and threw his head back. At the top of his lungs and into the surrounding forest, he screamed: “I WANT TO DIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIE!”

Birds hidden within the trees burst out as if carrying the echo of Wrist’s words. Tears stung his eyes that seemed to draw up in their saltiness. The seeping hole within his core made everything around it heavier. His heart strained. Wrist slowly looked down at Serpens, who’s gaze only slightly soothed his aching heart. 

“Wrissst, may I ask what happened? You appear to be dissstraught.” 

Wrist glanced away from Serpens. His lips trembled. “…don’t wanna…” 

Wrist could feel the gaze of the snake piercing him. He could feel pressure building up in his throat of everything he was thinking and what he was feeling about what was there, deep inside of him. 

Wrist shot furrowed brows at Serpens. “…” 

The wind rustled the trees and Wrist’s hair, but that was all that seemed to move within the moment of silence. The air was thick and heavy. Wrist could clearly see Serpens’s concern written all over the snake’s face and Wrist could feel that he wanted to say something so desperately. 

What is this snake doing to me? 

“I can’t stand it anymore!” vomitted up Wrist. “I’m ALWAYS bullied, always having to be saved. They call my mom a ‘whore’ and tell me to go get bitten by a snake! I’m told to be like my mother and to go away. I’m made fun of for not knowing my father. My grades suck. I’m always getting in trouble even when it’s not my fault. No one cares about me, no one likes me, and all I want to do is die! Why did I have to be born in the first place? Death seems a lot more pleasant than this…why am I even here?!” 

Tears flowed even heavier from Wrist’s eyes than before. “I’m sorry I’m a burden to everyone. I can’t stand anyone, not even me! I’m the worst! No wonder I’m so hated. I don’t want to bother anyone anymore…I just want to die. At least then they’ll be free of me, the biggest burden of them all.” 

“Why do you conclude that you are a burden? I see that there are people whom love you,” replied Serpens. 

Wrist sniffled. “D-doesn’t m-matter. Even if they love me, I’m still burdening them by existing. Why did I even have to exist in the first place…” Wrist wiped his tears with his cloak. “The least I can do is die and go away forever.” 

“Do you truly want to die?” 

Wrist lifted his head, stared Serpens straight in the eye, and replied “Yes.” 

Serpens’s eyes narrowed slightly. Wrist felt himself flinch. The gaze felt as if Serpens himself was slithering all over Wrist. After a good moment of the uncomfortable leering from Serpens and Wrist’s sniffling, the snake cocked its head curiously. “Do you wish all of you to die or only a part of you?” 

Wrist wiped his eyes, followed by a sniffle. “What the heck does that mean?” 

Serpens slithered closer to Wrist, coming only a short distance away. The snake gazed right into Wrist’s face. Except, to Wrist, there was something absolutely terrifying about it in the sense of being absolutely exposed. Why…why do I feel like I’m naked everywhere? 

“Not all deathsss are physical,” replied Serpens. “Not all deathsss are entirely mental either.” 

Wrist buckled to his knees as his head began to pound. “I…I really don’t get it. Serpens, what are you even talking about.” 

Wrist looked between his fingers, seeing Serpens close to his face. 

“I can sshow you, but I will need your permisshon first.” 

Wrist’s body became heavier and he collapsed on the ground. His head seemed to be spliting. “Argh! I don’t know! Just kill me now!” This headache’s gonna be the death of me. 

He could hear the flickering of Serpens’s tongue. “I shall take that as permission to proceed.” 

Wrist could feel Serpens’s scaly head bump gently onto his left hand and the next think he knew, the headache was gone…along with everything else. Wrist was suddenly on his feet, surrounded completely by darkness, except for his own body which was illuminated with its own mysterious light that seemed to be radiating off from his skin. 

“What the…?” whispered Wrist. 

He looked down to his left arm and gasped, watching as Serpens quickly slid up the left side of his body and coiled around his left arm. Wrist winced at the constrition his arm was under, although much to his surprise, there was no actual pain, just pressure. 

Serpens then slid across his shoulders and around his face and his neck. He slid down the right arm and coiled it just the same as the left, causing Wrist to wince a bit more under the pressure. He then watched Serpens coil his body all the way down to his feet, dropping down into a circle. 

What is he doing? 

Wrist looked down at the side of Serpens face. 

All of a sudden, Serpens lept up, barring his fangs. Wrist let out a gasp and looked up to stump away, but instead found Serpens hitting underneath his chin. 

Wrist let out the most blood-curling scream he had ever set out in his life as Serpens seemed to shoot through him and out of from his head. And with him, everything that had threatened to kill him. 

His skin and his organs felt like they were on fire. As the heat cleared, from his feet to his head in small waves, every single ill feeling that had been consuming him for years had completely disappeared. 

Wrist’s eyes widened. I feel…light! 

A slight heaviness suddenly dropped onto his shoulders. Wrist looked down and over, seeing Serpens drapping himself like a necklace. “What are you—?!”

Serpens slipped down into Wrist’s back. Wrist could feel the snake enter in through hole in his back – something he knew just should not have been there – and trembled. What…what is even happening?! 

The light on illuminating Wrist’s body increased intensely, blindingly so. Wrist covered his eyes. 

When the light faded, Wrist found himself in front of a lake in the middle of the darkness, with his own naked reflection staring back up at him. Around his neck was now a snake pendant and snake motifs covered parts of his body like tattoos. One over his heart, one around his left arm, and one on his face. He slightly turned around, noticing that there was one linging on his back and on his right leg. 

Wrist gasped and blinked. When his opened, he was back in the forest, completely clothed. 

“Serpens?” he called, looking around. His hands went to his neck and pulled open the top of his shirt, peering down. Around his neck was the exact snake pendant he saw in the dream…or whatever the heck he had just experienced. His eyes located the snake tattoo over his heart as he peered a bit further down. 

Wrist looked at his left hand and the back of his right leg. Peeking out from underneath the fabric were the markings he had seen. “Serpens,” he whispered. “What the heck WAS that?” 

Wrist reached into his shirt and pulled out the pendant, taking a good look at it. 

Then, cutting through the atmosphere like a cold blade was a rather familiar voice of a young woman. 

“What did you just do?” 

Wrist slowly turned around, seeing Lilac’s face dark with absolute horror. Her face seemed to twist in anger. 

Wrist’s eyes narrowed curiously, noticing his body seemed to be completely absent of fear or annoyance he normally felt when Lilac approached him. Wrist took in a deep breath and smiled a small smile. “I asked to die.” 

“By making a deal with a SNAKE?!” 

Wrist shrugged. “I don’t think I made a deal with Serpens. I just agreed to let him show me what he meant.” 

Lilac took a step forward, with drawing her sword. “Do you understand that you’ve just forsaken not just yourself, but the entire village?! You were tricked by that dishonest snake! Everyone will be killed – not just you – for what you have done!” 

Lilac thrust the sword into Wrist’s face. 

Wrist didn’t even flinch. Instead, he looked at the shiny blade glistening in the sun, finding himself wondering what the peace he was feeling from within his body. I would’ve been scared even a few moments ago. Maybe even angry…no…I’d definitely have been angry. Wrist slightly tilted his head. Why am I so calm? 

A pressure came to his throat and went to go open his mouth to speak, but something in the back of his mind protested. ‘Don’t say a thing’ it said. ‘You did something wrong! You’re getting in trouble!’ Wrist pasued for a moment. Am I really wrong though? I don’t think so. I don’t think the village is in trouble. His gaze met Lilac’s murderous one. But I don’t really want to say anything…

Wrist, ssspeak your heart.” 

Serpens?! 

Yess, I am within you now. Sspeak the truthss in which you have uncovered.” 

Wrist found himself placing both hands over his heart. He met Lilac’s muderous gaze straight on and gently pushed her sword out of the way with his hand. “Serpens isn’t like that. He’s not going to kill the whole village. He didn’t even kill me. Just…” Wrist lips twitched in thought. He found his consciousness dive deep within his body, finding the right words. His throat seemed to be lit up again as what he needed to speak surfaced. “…just the parts of me that weren’t me and I no longer needed.” 

Lilac huffed. “You keep referring to this ‘serpens’. Who is this person and what do they have to do with any of this?!” 

“Serpens is the name of the snake.” 

Lilac’s jaw dropped, still looking absolutely filled with murderous intent. “The snake has a NAME now?!” 

Wrist lifted his head. “Serpens has always had a name. I don’t like how you are accusing him of things he’s not doing. He couldn’t even kill me, even when I asked him to. He’s actually really kind.” 

Lilac’s sword slowly lowered to the ground as Lilac held her head. “‘Kind’? What is next? You love him? How do you even know such things about a snake?” 

Wrist found himself smiling. “Simple,” he replied, on the verge of laughter. “Serpens can talk.” 

Wrist watched Lilac’s hand holding the sword tremble and her murderous gaze transform into one of pure horror. 

Lilac withdrew her sword and turned on her toes. At the top of her lungs, she began to shout “WRIST IS CURSED! WRIST HAS BEEN CURSED BY THE TALKING SNAKE!” 

Wrist couldn’t help but find himself chuckling. The back of his hand rubbed his eyes, noticing the smallest of tears were starting to dot his eyelids. “Serpens, what did you even do to me? I feel so light. It’s like you ripped everything out from me that had been causing me problems. I think my head is still getting used to it.”

Wrist heard Serpens chuckle himself from inside his head. “That isss indeed what hass happened. I have torn what was not yourss from your body. It may ssstill remain in your mind for a while longer, but that’sss ssomething time and experience shall heal.” 

Wrist found himself smiling, despite his tears. “Wow. That’s…that’s amazing. I’m not even angry that Lilac tried to murder me or that she thinks I’m cursed. I’m pretty sure everything is about to get a lot worse, but I’m so light and at peace, I don’t care.” 

“Is it that you do not care? Or is it something else?”

Wrist grasped his chin. “Hmmm…I think it’s something else. It’s more like…I know that there is something better for me.” 

And do you know what it is that you must do now?” 

Wrist found his consciousness drop back down into his body. 

His tears became strong as up from the depths of his being rose the answer. 

“I…need to leave the village.” 

Iss that ssomething you are okay with?” 

Wrist folded his hand’s over his heart. He found himself smiling despite his tears. “Yeah, it’s fine. I’ll miss my mother, but maybe I can visit her one day again. Even if I can’t, it’s okay. I just hope she will be okay without me.” 

Wrist scratched the back of his head. “I should really go get something’s though before I head on out, huh?” 

If that issss what you wisssh.”

“Yeah, it is.” 

***

Wrist swiftly made his way through the back roads, hearing Lilac’s screams and echos of many others at the announcement of his “deal” with Serpens. He stayed hidden within the shadows, only allowing himself to look like a flickering shadow in the dancing fire lanterns hanging in-between the roads as he passed through. 

He slipped through the side gap near his house and leaned against the wall, listening and peering in through the window, cautiously looking for any sign of upset. 

His soon-to-be-former home seemed innocent and untouched. He could see his mother cleaning the living room on the other side. She must not know yet. 

Wrist made his way over to the front door and slipped inside, immeditately going to his room, with the lightest footsteps he had ever used before. He drew a satchel off his door’s hanging rack and began to fill it with what he thought he would need for his trip. 

Don’t over think it,” said Serpens. “Allow yourssself to be guided by the truthsss deep within you.” 

Wrist nodded and allowed him to relax, all while placing what he could feel floating up from deep within him into the bag. After a few minutes and a full bag later, he pulled the drawstrings and buttons closed. I think I am good. 

“Wrist?” 

Wrist looked towards the door as he tossed the large satchel over his arm. He found himself pausing for a moment, seeing the questioning look inside of his mother’s warm eyes. 

Wrist smiled softly. “Hi, mom.”

“Where are you going?” 

Wrist found his feet walked right up to her, placing a hand on her shoulder. His smile grew, but it still remained soft. He watched as his mother’s eyes followed the snake marking on his face and her lips slightly part in quiet surprise. 

“I have to leave.” 

Armella’s hands folded over her heart. Wrist watched his mother briefly cast down her gaze before looking at him back in the eye. Her brow slightly furrowed. “When will you be back?” 

Wrist closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He dove down deep into the depths of his being once more. Within the endless darkness floated up a bubble with the answer all the way to his throat. It popped and out from his mouth came “Not for a long time.” 

Armella let out a quiet gasp. Her arms grabbed her son’s shoulders. Her eyes glazed over and she was looking at him up and down. 

Wrist leaned forward and gave her a huge hug. 

“Mom, I love you,” he whispered. “I’ll be back to see you again. Thank you for not giving up on me.” 

Wrist let go and walked past Armella, just as she gasped and covered her mouth, choking back tears. Wrist felt nothing but love radiating in his heart – not anything romantic, but love is the purest sense. The kind of divine love that most humans don’t even know how to express.  

Wrist slipped back out the door and into the night. 

***

A knock came at the door and Armella finished blotting the remainder of her tears from her face. She took a moment to look into the mirror, checking her face. Oh dear, I must look terrible. She placed a hand over her heart and sighed. I am grateful the lighting is the way it is…

She waltzed over to the door as if she hadn’t been crying just a few minutes ago. “Coming~~!” she sung, reaching the door. She opened it, seeing a group of people with numerous weapons and torches in hand. Armella’s heart thumped in her chest as she forced a smile on her face. 

“Hello, Salenor,” Armella greeted. She put a hand to her cheek and tilted her head, hoping her eyes were glittering in the brilliant way they normally did and not like she had been crying. “What ever brings you here?” 

“Have you seen Wrist?” 

Armella frowned, shaking her head. “Nooo, I haven’t seen him all day. I think he’s probably playing in the forest again, that silly son of mine!” She followed it with a giggle. 

But Salenor in front of her wasn’t laughing. 

“I need to speak to you,” said Salenor. 

“Um, okay. Did my son do something?” inquired Armella. Her voice slightly quivered, but an innocent smile still stayed plastered on her face. 

Salenor motioned to the group behind him, with two men stepping up behind him. Salenor and the two men entered into Armella’s home. Salenor gently tapped Armella’s shoulder and she followed them into her kitchen. 

“You will want to sit down,” said Salenor. 

Armella went over to her refridgerator. “Oh, but don’t you want something to drink?” 

Salenor shook his hand and head at her. “There is no time for that.” 

Armella cast her gaze down and nodded, walking to the table, sitting down. She folded her hands as she looked at Salenor. “Why are you looking for my son? What did he do?” 

Salenor’s face darkened. “I was informed by Lilac that your son made a deal with the snake from the legends.” 

Armella let out a scoff, followed by a chuckle. “Those stories? They’re not true.” 

“I am afraid they hold truth.”

Armella’s eyes met Salenor’s. 

Salenor appeared to be grim. “According to Lilac, he made a deal with a talking snake. I am sorry, Armella, but he must be killed for the sake of the village.” 

Armella gasped and covered her mouth. The tears that had just finished stinging her eyes drying up fell once more and she found her body tremble. Wrist, run! Run so far! Do not let them catch you! I don’t know why you would make a deal with the snake, but please, live! Please…

***

“Hah, did you hear them?” asked Wrist, completely shielded in the night. The forest seemed to grow thicker and no light from the village far behind them reached them. Wrist could no longer hear the village yelling, or at least, he was pretty sure. The sound in the air just sounded like wind and maybe, if he listened hard enough, a waterfall. He smirked. “They think I’m cursed.” 

Do you think you’re cursssed?” 

Wrist flicked underneath his nose. “No way.” He lifted his head up towards the starry sky peeking through the trees. “The curse isn’t me or what I did, but how the village thinks. I don’t know who placed the curse on them like that, but I hope I can undo it one day.” 

Oh, a dream?” 

“Yeah, I think so!” Wrist replied, followed by a chuckle. 

How will you undo the curssse that was placed on your village?” 

“Hmmm…” Wrist grasped his chin. “I’m not really sure yet, but I’m sure I’ll know when I get there.” 

What a wonderful anssswer/” 

“I have a lot you need to teach me before I get there, I bet.” 

Yess, indeed. And let me teach you another lesssson: humanss often cursse themselves.” 

Wrist nodded, his smile still high upon his face. “Hmm…I see…yeah…I can see that. We curse ourselves through our thoughts and the actions that follow them, yeah?” 

I believe you will learn and undo the curssse in very little time!” 

Wrist laughed. “That doesn’t answer my question>” 

Wrist could feel Serpens smile from within him. 

Wrist placed his hands behind his head, taking a deep breath. He listened to the soft sounds of his footsteps and the occassional crushing of leaves underneath his feet, making his way even deeper through the forest. His own movements seemed snake-like as he turned corners and just walked where he was guided, managing to avoid everything that could have caused him harm. 

When the wind seemed to quiet down, Wrist turned inward. “Serpens,” he called. “Why’d you show up to me on that first day?” 

I ssssimply wass near by. But it isss in my nature to help those who are like you.” 

“Like how? Depressed and ready to die?” 

No,” replied Serpens. “when someone is about to be reborn.”

Wrist’s relaxed smile changed into a large green. An unrestrained laugh belted out from his mouth and bounced off every tree in the forest, echoing back an otherworld whisper that signaled Wrist was being reborn. 

**END**

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