I found it strange that when I had woken up I had not had that feeling of not knowing where I was. I sometimes had that feeling even if I was sleeping in my own bedroom, but here I had known exactly where I was, and it had caused me no panic. I sat up and looked around. I was alone in the room. I slid out of bed and walked over to Jane's dressing table. It was the old fashioned sort, with hinged mirrors at the sides of one central glass. I sat down at it and looked at myself. My reflection was strange, hazy. It was as though there was a mist on the glass. If I looked at my eyes they were in focus, but the rest of my face was obscured. The same was true when I looked at my nose and my mouth. Wherever my gaze rested was clear as it had ever been, but everything else was blurred. I supposed, then, that it really was true. What had they said in all those books and films, that vampires could not be seen in mirrors? Perhaps I really was becoming what Jane said herself to be. I was too tired to be frightened; I decided that I would ask questions when I saw Jane later.
But what else had she said? She'd called me a fledgling. I was not a vampire entirely; there was still a large part of me that was human. She had said that, if I chose to, I could live a normal life. I would have to keep away from the hunt (and I still had to ask her exactly what the hunt were), but so long as I had someone close by to tell me where the hunt were then I could be safe.
So I would not become a vampire. I did not want to become a vampire and so I would not. I would remain a fledgling and over time I would become used to this new state. I could study; I could regain my life, better than it had been before and free of all restriction. And I would find my sister. I had seen when I was not supposed to have seen. It was no coincidence that she had been taken; it was no random act of human cruelty. She had seen them too - I was sure of it. We had strong blood ties with their kind, and so we both had seen. If this was true then the hunt was likely to have kept her, made her one of their own. I was sure of this. As Jane had spoken last night I had been surer of this than I had been of anything. No wonder the police had searched for Michelle in vain; the vampire people would have to be skilled at covering their tracks if they were to remain unknown to humankind. I would find the hunt and I would find my sister. I looked at my own eyes and they looked back at me. We had both seen when we were not meant to see, and she had been taken. I would get her back, or at least find where she had gone. Then I could return to my parents and they would be happy. They would be happy and they would let me go, I was sure of it. And then I would be happy because I would be free. The way that Jane had explained the hunt, it had sounded as though they might be a danger to me. I would brave them though. Nothing mattered any more other than finding my sister.
I turned around and saw Jane standing in the doorframe to a door that I had not heard open. I wondered whether I had simply not been concentrating, or whether vampires were simply stealthier that other creatures. Perhaps it was a mixture of both. I realised that I was sitting at her dressing table in her t-shirt and yesterday's underwear, and nothing else, and felt terribly embarrassed. I might have even blushed slightly, but I could not tell. Warmth seemed to be gradually leaving my body, or at least the sensation of warmth. I seemed to be having a constant sensation, the sensation that you get just before you faint, where you feel all over your body that you are incredibly pale. Your lips feel as though they are going blue, and your fingertips start to tingle. I was having a similar feeling all the time, but it wasn't at all unpleasant. I was aware that my body was changing; I was now a fledgling vampire. Now that I knew what was happening it was not as scary as it had been the day before, and that in itself made me feel better.
'Good morning,' I said, as unashamedly as I could manage, considering the situation. I tried to nonchalantly shift to a position where I would be less on display, and in doing so only embarrassed myself more by alerting Jane to the fact that I was wearing very little. It was her turn to avert her eyes and look uneasy.
'I'll find you some clean clothes,' she said, and she disappeared out into the hall. I realised then how slender Jane was, especially in comparison to me; I had always been a little on the plump side. She returned with a pile of clothes and dumped them onto the bed.
'I'll leave you to get dressed then,' she said, and she disappeared again, closing the door behind her.
In the end I wore yesterday's jeans with a t-shirt and a baggy cardigan. I wore my favourite scarf as well, because of the constant cold that I was feeling. It didn't bother me in any way; it was only that I knew that I really aught to keep my body warm. As I rummaged through Jane's clothes it suddenly occurred to me that she dressed in an incredibly normal fashion, considering what she was. The vampires in my mind dressed like aristocrats. Jane dressed elegantly, but not unusually; she could have been a college student with sophisticated tastes. I looked around the room and thought about all the other things that Jane did that were very normal. There was a selection of makeup strewn across her dressing table, and popular novels stacked up next to her bed. There were sketchbooks and art materials. I could even see something that looked like a diary. Perhaps life wasn't going to be so unusual after all. I decided to be nicer to Jane. She was just an ordinary girl, despite her otherworldly circumstance.
I looked out into the hallway and saw her sitting on the stairs, reading.
'Jane?' I said. She looked up and smiled.
'Yes - thank you. Thanks for the clothes as well.'
'That's no problem,' she replied, 'they're just until we can get you some new ones. Then you can have your own.'
I wasn't sure exactly where we were going to get the money from so I decided not to question and just nodded in reply. For a moment there was an awkward silence, where we stared at each other and grimaced stupidly. Jane broke it and I was glad she did. I couldn't think of anything light hearted to say.
'Would you like to meet the others now?' she asked. 'I mean - do you think that you're well enough to?'
'Yes - that would be great,' I replied, though in truth I wasn't so sure. The others? Other vampires? I had been vaguely aware that there were other people living in the house, but for some reason the sudden confirmation that they were there and I would have to meet them was a shock to me. What were other vampires like? Jane was friendly and more or less human, though I still didn't trust her entirely. What if the others were more like animals, or monsters? I was tempted to change my mind, and say that I wasn't feeling great, but I knew that I would have to speak to the other vampires at some point, and it was better to get it over with sooner than later.
Jane saw the look on my face.
'Don't worry,' she said. 'I've told them about you already.'
I nodded and followed her down the stairs.