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- Me, Myself, and I
- My name is Catlyn, but when I was small they called me 'little Cat' because I was constantly getting into things I shouldn't. Somewhere along the way, the 'little' slipped away, but 'Cat' has stayed with me.
I have lived my whole life in the same village. I know all of my neighbors by name, and all of their families, just like they know mine.
I still find myself in the wrong place at the wrong time on occasion, and that's how I came to be here, setting down my story on paper, for the world to read.
My father, and his father before him, knew about them. It's sort of the family secret. You know, one of those ... handed down from one generation to the other kind of things.
Not many of the locals know about them, we're just one of the families that have helped them, and been helped by them when the need arises.
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The short two block walk home was the longest of Catlyn's life. The shadows seemed to creep closer each step she took, and she felt as if an icy damp blanket was wrapped tightly around her body, slowly closing off the air her lungs desperately tried to draw in. Finally she saw it, the bright blue door just ahead that felt as if it were a million miles away instead of just across the street.
The jab of the key into it's lock, a quick turn and she spilled into the foyer with a soft, frightened cry. Whirling to twist the knob that would lock out the world, she took a deep breath and shuddered. But even that wasn't enough, the feeling of impending doom forced her to hurry up the staircase to the one place she felt safest ..... her bedroom. Here, and she didn't know why, but she felt as if nothing could touch her.
After changing into a pair of sage cotton pajamas and wrapping herself in a blanket, she curled up in the chair beside the balcony doors with a leather bound journal and a cup of tea, sweetened with honey. It had been quite a few years since she had taken the time to set down her thoughts and hopes for the future. After the strange happenings of the last few days, she thought it might be time to begin again.
She started with the night in the alley, where she had first seen Kaelin Macaulay. She put down every detail she could remember. The three men and his ability to over-power them, and feed from them without taking their lives. From there she moved on to the battle in the clearing, and the being that could only have been one of the undead, commonly known as 'vampire'.
She paused, biting on the end of the pen, before trying to record last night's strange happenings. What if she had only been imagining everything she thought she remembered? It was surely possible that a vampire could have tracked her into the village, and even to her balcony. But why would he do such a thing? If he were hungry, anyone in the village would suffice.
She frowned when the idea made itself known, perhaps he had been hunting her. But why would he do such a thing? It wasn't as if he feared her, or that she might tell someone in the village about his existence. Vampires had no reason to fear humans, they were arrogant and saw mortals as merely a means to satisfy their blood-lust.
She shook her head and moved on to the series of dreams that had invaded her fitful slumber. Kaelin, why would she dream of him anyway? Granted, in any other circumstance she would have welcomed dreams about the Carpathian. He was everything that any intelligent woman would fantasize about, tall, dark and handsome, as the old saying went.
But as a hunter ..... he was deadly, and according to her grandfather, an ancient, which meant that until he found a lifemate he was in danger of becoming exactly that which he hunted. Her mind played and replayed the dream, but she couldn't make any sense out of it. Why would he keep asking her name? He was so insistent, but she had been too deeply asleep and couldn't summon the strength to respond.
And this morning she had awakened completely rested after such a troubled sleep, it was very odd. The hours that followed had brought on an increasing sense of unease. So much so that she had refused to leave the shop, locked everyone out and then raced home as if a demon had been dogging her every step. All ending with her here, writing in this journal.
She paused to look out into the darkness at the star strewn night sky, and wondered whether or not an owl would find it's way to her balcony again. With a rueful smile, and a shake of her head, she set the journal aside and crawled under the covers of her bed. The faint glow from the street lamps below cast just enough light to allow her to see the balcony outside the glass doors, and that is where she watched until sleep overtook her.
0 Comments 120 weeks
Catlyn awoke well rested and completely relaxed. Odd, however, since the first clear thought that came to mind was...... 'what really happened to me last night?'
Replaying the events of the previous afternoon, and evening...and even the dream, didn't make it any clearer. Did she, or didn't she, encounter a vampire on her balcony? And seeing Kaelin on the same balcony had to have been a dream. To think it might have been real, well, she obviously must have been hallucinating.
Gathering her things, she decided to go visit the cleaners and have a chat with Ellie. This had to have something to do with the way Ellie and her father had acted the evening before. Their concern about her walking home at dusk, even to the point of insisting that Ellie drive the two blocks to her front door. They were obviously worried about something happening to her, and she wondered if it had anything to do with her dreams.
The thing was, the more she rehashed what had happened, or maybe what she thought had happened, the more she wasn't sure telling anyone, even Ellie, was a good idea. What if they thought she was imagining the vampire? And the huge owl, who could honestly see anything menacing about an owl perched on a balcony railing, that was what they did after all.....perch on things. Catlyn distractedly rubbed her temple, the headache was coming back.
With her mind in such turmoil, she decided to lock the shop doors and do inventory. Catlyn placed a sign on the glass that read,
"INVENTORY IN PROGRESS,
SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE"
and took a clipboard into the storeroom. She worked through lunch, simply because it gave her an excuse not to talk to anyone about yesterday. In fact, she worked right up until the normal closing time before she even looked outside and noticed the sun resting on top of the mountains surrounding the village.
Unsure why, she quickly put away the clipboard and grabbed her coat. She felt an unusual urgency insisting she get home as quickly as possible. This was something she'd never concerned herself with before, this was her home, her village. Everyone knew her, they smiled and waved as she hurried past, but she barely spared them a glance. This behavior was unnatural for Catlyn, and she had no idea why. All she knew was that she had to get home where she would be safe, and she had to do it before darkness fell.
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Catlyn turned on every light in her apartment, and even closed every curtain over every window. She was still grumbling softly to herself when she stomped back across to the French doors leading out to the balcony and unlocked them.
"I have never felt so silly in my life. How could a vampire possibly find me? The few moments I watched the fight, he had to have been concentrating on the hunter, not me. This had to have been nothing more than a figment of my over-tired imagination."
With that softly muttered comment, she opened the doors and stepped out onto the balcony. It was empty, and when she peered over the side to the street below, that was empty too. She ran one hand along the railing where the huge owl had perched, and there was nothing there to show that anything had touched it.
"Yup, I definitely need a restful night's sleep. Ellie would have a good laugh if I told her about this little fantasy scare of mine. She'd tell me again that what I need is a man to occupy my thoughts, and a couple of babies to keep me from such fanciful daydreams."
With that she shook her head, went back inside and locked the doors. She contemplated whether or not to turn off all of the lights, and decided she was simply being paranoid. But, after turning them all off, she made sure each window was locked and the curtains were tightly closed anyway.
Oddly enough, it seemed forever before she could clear her thoughts enough to fall asleep. Then the dreams came, actually it was the same dream replaying itself over and over throughout the night.
He stood on her balcony, dark eyes watching her sleep. She could see him standing on the other side of the glass doors, she tried to get up and walk across the floor. She'd done it a thousand times before, but like most dreams, no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't make herself move.
The whisper, deep and wrapped in a soft growl, brushed her mind.
'Who are you? I want to know your name.'
She wanted to answer, something kept her from it. Perhaps it was simply the power of the dream, but she never spoke, she only sighed.
The whisper became more insistent, 'Tell me why you were out in the forest so close to sunset. Tell me your name.'
But something kept her from answering yet again. Held locked in the repeating dream, she stirred restlessly. She knew the voice belonged to the hunter and she wanted to answer, she wanted to speak the words but at the same time, her mind resisted with even more effort. Suddenly she sat up in bed with a startled cry. She carefully looked around and realized the room was empty before slowly sinking back into the mound of pillows.
"A dream, it was only a dream. Thats all it could have been, right?"
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