Poster by MYJR
The Sanctum. It was the only place left that Mako had. When she was just a baby, vampire hunters came and killed her parents, burning down the house. Her older sister, Natsuki, was her only family left, and took her far off into the woods where they could hide. There, they found the Sanctum. That’s what all vampires who lived there call it. It was an abandoned school, now frozen in time as the vampire girls could live in peace, never seen by humans, animals, or monsters. As if an invisible barrier hung over it, they remained safe.
Mako finally returned to the Sanctum, still carrying the unconscious girl in her arms. She walked into the main room and immediately, all eyes were on her.
“Mako. Where were you?” Natsuki came up to her younger sister, seeing the girl in her arms. “And who is this?”
“A human?” One of the girls spoke up.
“No, Yuka...” Mako walked over to the couch and set the sleeping girl down. “She’s not human.”
“She’s one of us.”
One of the other girls, Tomu, went closer and smelt of the girl’s neck.
“She does have a strange scent around her...” she said as she stood back up. “But how do we know she’s really one of us?”
“I could just… feel it.”
The girls heard the sound of a saxophone. On another couch was Furuhata Nao, playing a sweet tune on her brass instrument. Beside her was Mukaida Manatsu, eating a bowl of her favorite strawberries.
“Where exactly did you find that girl?” Manatsu said as she brought her feet up and sat cross-legged on the couch cushion.
“She was buried under a tree… in a coffin. But she’s alive!”
“So she is a vampire?”
“Ya must be goin’ crazy, girl,” the Osaka vampire, Akari, spoke as she poked the younger girl’s cheek. “Are ya sure it’s not ‘cause of your Cocoon Period?”
“No! It’s not that.”
“She’s right, though, Mako. Since you’ve started your adolescent period, you’re bound to start hallucinating...”
“It’s not my Cocoon Period!”
A sigh was heard by the girls. Natsumi stared up at the ceiling, seeming out of touch with reality.
“How did you… find her, Mako-chan?”
“I… I just felt it… Someone calling to me… And her scent… It’s not like everyone else’s...”
Natsumi sniffed the air and sighed.
“Mako, are you sure this girl can be trusted?” Natsuki asked her sister. “What if she wakes up and tries to kill us?”
“I know that you’re trying to help this girl, but still...”
Just then, the sleeping girl slowly rose up, her head hung low. All the girls backed away a bit, watching her. Her eyes slowly opened as she looked around at her surroundings.
“Where… am I..?”
Mako walked over to the girl, ignoring Natsuki’s pleas, and held the girl’s hand.
“Are you okay?”
Once their eyes met, time seemed to stop. Something in the girl’s eyes was beautiful. Her dark orbs seemed to show sadness, but they were so deep, like she could get lost in them forever.
Again, Mako felt something, a slight pain, but only for a few seconds. She never heard the name, but she felt like it was something she was supposed to remember.
“Mako!” Natsuki walked up to her side. “What’s wrong?”
“I… My head...”
The two looked back at the mysterious girl as she slowly got up from the couch.
“This place is… Akiba Academy.”
“This school’s been run down for hundreds of years. No one uses it anymore.”
“Wait, so...” Yuka walked towards the girl. “When were you born?”
“That’s over a thousand years!”
“She’s older than all of us.”
“A thousand years...” The girl repeated. “I’ve been asleep for one thousand years?”
Mako walked back up to the girl and held her hands, looking in her eyes.
“I understand if this is hard to understand… but don’t worry. You’re safe here, so you won’t have to--”
Suddenly, Mako was hugged by the vampire girl and felt her lay her head on her shoulder, burying her face into her neck. She felt her breathing against her neck, sending slight chills down her spine.
“Finally...” the girl spoke, in a soft voice. “I found you.”
Before she could say anything, the older vampire’s knees buckled and she fell in Mako’s arms, her breathing becoming heavier and shaky. Mako looked and saw there was blood seeping through the girl’s back, staining her clothes and painted on Mako’s hand.
“You’re hurt...” Mako tried her best to stay calm, holding the vampire in her arms as her consciousness slowly faded.
“The hunters… Th-they’re after us...”
“I see,” Natsuki spoke up. “You were nearly killed by human hunters.”
“That’s why she was in a coffin...” Yuka said to herself, Tomu nodding in agreement.
“Help me...” The girl was just barely clutching onto Mako’s shirt, staring deep into her eyes. “Mako...”
“H-how do you know my..?”
The vampire girl slowly closed her eyes and lost consciousness, her hand dropping to her side.
“We need to give her time to heal, or else she’ll bleed out and die.” Natsuki said. “Girls, take her to the spare room, start bandaging her up.”
“Yes, ma’am.” They all said at the same time. Yuka and Tomu helped Mako carry the girl into a spare room, bathed in moonlight from the eternal night sky.
“Here’s the first aid kit.”
Mako slowly unbuttoned the girl’s shirt, blushing as she saw her silk lace bra. She quickly looked away and turned her over to see her bare back. There, at the very arch, was a deep puncture wound, most likely from a stake.
“Where’s the medicine?”
“Here,” Manatsu applied some of the medicine to her hands and rubbed it on the girl’s back, feeling her jump slightly and hiss in pain as cold sweat ran on her forehead.
“Just a little more...” Mako caressed the girl’s head, trying to calm her while in her current state. “You’ll be okay...”
After they got her bandaged up, they left the girl to rest so the moonlight would heal her wound. Mako leaned up against the door, still thinking about her first encounter with the mysterious vampire.“Mako...”
“How did she know my name..?”
“Natsuki...” Yuka walked over to the edge of the roof, sitting down beside the older vampire girl. “You okay?”
“You’re worried about Mako-chan, aren’t you? I understand. This Cocoon Period thing really is doing a number on all of us, huh?”
The Cocoon Period, the adolescent period of a young vampire. When vampires are in this stage of growth, they become emotionally unstable. They act out on their instincts and reflexes, letting their emotions run wild. They also become mentally unstable. They start losing touch with reality, having hallucinations, and experience confusion, memory loss, and frequent and recurring nightmares. Mako, who is still in the middle of her Cocoon Period, has also developed hyper-sensitive hearing and smell, making her unable to stand human blood or demon ichor.
“I hate that she has to fight through this… I get that it’s natural to us, but still...”
“I get it, Natsuki. I’m still in the early stages, so I know how it feels. Plus, you’ve already matured fully, yourself.”
“She’ll be fine. Mako’s a strong girl,” Yuka patted Natsuki’s back. “Just wait and see. Once she’s out of this stage, I’m sure she’s going to have a great future ahead.”
“Thanks, Yuka… But, still… will we really have a future after this?”
Mako always walked passed that door, she always took a peek inside and saw the vampire resting peacefully in the pure white bed. She’d often go in and change the gauze, re-bandage her, and would talk to her, even without an answer.
While she was checking up on the girl, she slowly woke up from her sleep, startling Mako a bit.
“Mako… don’t leave me.”
“Eh...” Mako saw those eyes again, the ones that were filled with such sadness. Just how tortured was she? What happened to her so many years ago? She didn’t know, but she knew if being by her side would make her feel better, she’d do it. “Okay. I’ll stay.”
The vampire gave a soft smile, taking Mako’s hand. Then, she suddenly pulled her down and pinned her wrists to the bed, staring intensely at her.
Mako struggled to break free, but her grip was strong. She couldn’t do anything, and she did kept staring at the older vampire’s eyes, which had been drained of all its sadness, and now was filled with something new. What it was, she knew not, but those dark eyes were piercing through her very being.
She came closer, making the young vampire shut her eyes in fear. She then felt something soft pressing against her lips. She was kissing her, she realized. Her eyes shot open from the shock, her body frozen as she met the pitch black eyes of the girl on top of her. Just then, she felt herself go numb, like some poison entered her body. She couldn’t think straight and her surroundings became blurry until she eventually lost herself and fell into a deep sleep.
The latter released the kiss and her eyes instantly landed on Mako’s neck. Her soft, delicious looking neck. Her eyes turned red with bloodlust as she slowly leaned down and went in for a bite. She was ready for her fangs to sink into the girl’s skin, tasting her blood for the first time, when...
“Hey!” She suddenly heard a voice and released herself from Mako’s neck. There was Natsuki, standing at the door. “What do you think you’re doing?!”
“Why are you biting my sister?! Are you trying to kill her?!”
“Sister? Mako is your--?”
“Quit the act! Who are you, really?! I demand an explanation!!!”
She was suddenly stopped when the older vampire speeded towards her and pinned her against the wall.
“Let me go!” Natsuki tried to released herself, but the vampire’s grip only became stronger, as if she was possessed. “Let me go!! I don’t care how old you are, I DEMAND you let me go, right now!!!”
Just then, a small voice rose…
Nana’s ears twitched as she heard Mako talking in her sleep. Her grip on Natsuki loosened.
“Don’t… hurt Nana...”
“Nana...” Natsuki looked as the vampire restraining her was staring at her younger sister, a gleam of sadness in her eyes. “Is that your name?”
“Wait, do you know who she is? Have you met her before?”
Nana let the taller vampire go, backing away from her.
“I’m very sorry, onee-chan.”
“Thank you, for taking care of Mako for so long. You’re a good sister.”
Natsuki just stared shocked as the girl bowed to her and handed her back the younger vampire.
“When she wakes up, don’t tell her about anything that happened tonight.” She set Mako down in her sister’s arms, smiling at her. “When the time comes, I’ll explain everything. Thank you for healing my wound, Natsuki onee-chan.”
Natsuki didn’t know what to say. She simply dismissed the girl and left her room. She went upstairs to her and Mako’s room and sat her younger sister down on the bed. By now, she was expecting Mako to be screaming and panicking in her sleep, as she was prone to frequent nightmares due to the Cocoon Period. But, none of that happened. Mako just slept peacefully, no screaming, no kicking, no panics or fits. Her breathing was calm and slow, not changing. Natsuki checked her neck for bite marks, but found no blood or scars. Her skin was still pure and untouched.
“Mako...” She laid her head against her arms, staring at her little sister’s sleeping face. “That girl, Nana… have you met her before?”To Be Continued