Fountain of Eternal Youth (2005)

“What have you done to me?”  Loic held up his trembling hands, observing the abnormal paleness of his skin.  He looked up, astounded by the world around him.  Plants seemed to dance, the earth seemed to move; everything around him, was alive.

Charlotte approached Loic and gently brought him to his feet.  He easily towered over her.  Charlotte brushed his dark brown hair out of his sage eyes.  He wasn’t like all the rest, and Charlotte wasn’t sure if she could go another century with out him.  She turned him, changed him into what she was.

“A vampire’s life is lonesome, and I’m tired of roaming this earth by myself,” she said softly.  “I want to share my experiences with someone.”

Loic pushed her cold hands away, and stepped back, twigs snapping under his feet.  He wanted to run, run away from this . . . this creature; this monster!  But he had no idea where he was.  He didn’t know how far into the forest they were.

Charlotte’s black eyes began to tear.  Her hands were still held out, desperately wanting his.  This wasn’t the reaction she had imagined.  She had imagined him embracing her, wrapping his arms around her tightly and saying that he loved her, while smothering her with his warm, sweet, addictive kisses.

“I thought you loved me?”  She whispered tearfully.  “I thought you wanted to be with me, Loic?”

Loic shook his head, and laughed in disbelief.  “I have never . . . loved you!”  His voice was steadily rising, growing as his anger grew.  “I don’t even know who or what you are!”

“You know me,” Charlotte laughed manically.  She slowly approached Loic, with a crooked smile on her beautifully pale face.  “Oh, Loic, my love, you know who I am.  Don’t pretend.  I know you love me.”

“I do not know who you are!”  Loic stumbled backwards, lost his balance and fell hard onto the leaf deep forest floor.  He scrambled away from the still approaching woman, despite his aching back.  The strange woman with fiery red, curly hair and snow white skin suddenly grabbed the back of Loic’s head, twisting the dark brown hair in her fist.

“You know who I am,” she whispered.  Charlotte brushed her lips against his cheek, and kissed away the tears that were slowly cascading down Loic’s face.  “Tell me you love me,” she moaned.  “Tell me you want to be with me forever.”

Loic whimpered, as if the kisses burned.  He wanted to wake up.  He wanted to wake up, back in Paris, back in his own bed with his beautiful wife.  He opened his burning eyes, and blinked away the tears, only to see this strange woman hovering over him.  This delusional woman.

“She doesn’t love you!”  Charlotte suddenly blurted out.  Her black eyes were filled, again, with tears, but this time, they were tears of anger.  “She will never love you as much as I do!”

Loic, without thinking, punched the woman, knocking her to the side.  He pushed himself up and began to run.  Trees whipped passed, low hanging branches smacked his body and face as he sped by.  He’d rather be lost in the forest, then stay with that psychotic, red-haired woman.  Something caught Loic’s feet, and he crashed, face first, into the forest floor.  A kick to the stomach, stole his breath from his lungs and forced him to his back.  He gasped for air as a sharp, burning pain sliced through his heart.

Charlotte stood over him, pain, as plain as day, on her face, holding Loic’s heart in her bloodied hand.  Charlotte watched Loic as he fought against death, one last time.  His eyes suddenly widened, and he took in one last shaky breath.  Loic’s body went limp.  “She will never have you,” Charlotte whispered.