Chapter 1 Bite Night
I was ready to become a vampire. I stood alone in the middle of Dullsville's cemetery, dressed in a black corset minidress, fishnet stockings, and my signature combat boots. I held a small bouquet of dead black roses in my black fingerless gloves. A vintage midnight- colored lace veil dripped down over my pale face, gracefully shrouding my black lipstick and eye shadow.
My vampire to be, Alexander Sterling, wearing a gray pallbearer's suit and hat, waited a few yards ahead of me by our gothic altar--a closed coffin adorned with a candelabra and a pewter goblet. The scene was breathtaking. Fog floated through the graveyard like wayward ghosts. Candles flickered atop tombstones and were scattered alongside graves. A group of bats hovered over a cluster of lonely trees. Raindrops began to fall as the faint sound of screeching violins and a discordant harpsichord sent icy chills through my veins.
I had waited an eternity for this moment. My childhood fantasy was now coming true--I would be a dark angel of the night. I was as excited as a groupie who was about to marry a rock star.
Tiny torches lit my path, like a gothic runway. But as I took my first step toward Alexander, I began to wonder if I was making the right choice. My heart started to race as I proceeded forward. Images of the life I would be leaving behind flashed before me. My mom helping me sew a black velvet tote for my home ec. project. I took a step. Watching Dracula on DVD with my dad. Another step. Even my nerdy brother, Billy Boy, kindly helping me with my math homework. Step. My best friend, Becky, and I trying to climb the Mansion's gate. Step. My new kitty, Nightmare, gently purring in my arms. Step. They all began to haunt me.
In one bite my life would change forever.
I was leaving a boring, safe, yet love-filled world of the living and committing an eternity to a dangerous, unknown, darkened world of the undead.
As I continued to walk down the cemetery aisle, I could see the back of Alexander who, now only a few feet away, lifted a goblet from the coffin.
I reminded myself I was making the right decision. I wouldn't have to spend morbidly long daylight hours in Dullsville High. I'd have the ability to fly. And most important, I would be bonding with my true love, for all eternity.
I finally reached the coffin and stood alongside Alexander. He slid his white-gloved hand in mine, his plastic spider ring shining in the candlelight. He raised the pewter goblet to the moon and took a long drink. My heart raced as he passed it to me and I hesitantly lifted my veil from over my mouth. My hand was shaking, so the dark liquid wavered in the goblet.
"Maybe you aren't--," Alexander started, and put his hand over the glass.
"I am!" I argued defiantly. I pulled the goblet back and gulped the sweet, thick liquid.
I began to feel light-headed. The fog thickened around us. I could barely see Alexander's silhouette as he replaced the goblet on the coffin and then turned to me. With his white gloves, he gently lifted the black veil away from my face.
Now I could see clearly. Only I wasn't sure of what I was seeing. Instead of Alexander's usual long black hair, I noticed light- colored hair poking out from underneath his pallbearer's hat.
I gasped. It couldn't be!
"Jagger--," I exclaimed, frozen.
But when I looked into his eyes, I didn't see Alexander's rival's blue and green eyes that had once hypnotized me by the Mansion's gazebo. And they weren't the dark soulful eyes I had fallen in love with. These hypnotic eyes were green, and I'd seen them all my life.
"Trevor!" I declared, the words barely escaping my lips.
My childhood nemesis flashed a wicked grin, two razor-sharp fangs hanging from his mouth.
I stepped back.
It was only last night at Dullsville's Spring Carnival that Alexander and I had tried to warn Trevor about Jagger's twin sister, Luna, who was looking to sink her newly formed fangs into the soccer snob's neck. Jagger had been seeking revenge on Alexander for not turning Luna into a vampire, and now that she'd been turned by another vampire, the nefarious teens were in Dullsville to find her a lifelong partner. But Trevor had failed to heed our warning. When Alexander and I arrived outside the Fun House and searched through the carnival, Trevor was gone.
Only now my nemesis had found me.
I tried to run, but Trevor grabbed my hand as I pulled away. "I've got you now, Monster Girl. Forever." He licked his lips and leaned into my neck.
I looked around for anything to help my escape. But when I reached out for the candelabra, I felt dizzy. Suddenly Trevor's mouth was on my neck.
"Get off!" I cried. "Let go of me!"
He pulled me into him with the force of a whole soccer team. I wedged my boot between us, and, with all my strength, I managed to push him away.
Trevor stumbled back and grabbed my arm. He tried to pull me close, but I bit his hand. I broke free as he stood up confidently and grinned a wicked smile. Blood began to drip from the corner of his mouth.
I reached for my neck. My palm felt warm and wet. I gasped. When I held my hand before me, it was covered in blood.
"No!" I cried.
Just then I saw a confused Alexander, also sporting a gray pallbearer's uniform, running up the cemetery aisle. I turned to Trevor, who just stood and smiled.
"Not you! Not for an eternity!" I yelled.
I sat up, screaming so hard my throat hurt. I opened my eyes to darkness. I could hardly breathe. Where was I? In a coffin? A tomb? An empty grave?
Soft material covered my legs, but my eyes couldn't adjust to my surroundings. I figured I must be wrapped in a burial shroud.
My heart was throbbing. My skin perspiring. My mouth dry.
Flashing, bloodred numbers caught my eye: Two fifteen A.M.
I breathed a sigh of relief. I wasn't lying in an unknown coffin in Dullsville's cemetery but rather in my own bed.
Was I as safe as I thought? Maybe this was all part of my nightmare. My fingers shaking, I switched on my Edward Scissorhands lamp and ran to my dresser mirror. I closed my eyes, anticipating what I might not see. When I opened them, my ghostlike reflection stared back. I pulled my bed-head hair away from my shoulders and examined my neck.
My bedroom door flung open and my dad appeared in the doorway, sporting flannel boxers, a Lakers T-shirt, and messy hair. "What's wrong?" he asked, more annoyed than worried.
"Uh, nothing," I replied, startled. I dropped my hair and stepped away from the mirror.
"What happened?" my mom asked, barging in.
"I heard a scream," Billy Boy said, nosing his way behind them, his tired eyes heavy.
"I'm sorry I woke you guys. I just had a bad dream," I confessed.
"You?" my father asked, raising his eyebrow. "I thought you loved bad dreams."