- Jasper, Hale
Born in 1843, I dreamed of joining the Confederate Army to help serve and protect the large sprawling city I called home. My father was a proud man, always boasting about how he had bred the perfect son to be proud of: “6’3 with the same honey blonde hair of my mother and loads of charisma.” I lived in Houston, Texas, an economy which a wide industrial base, and by 1861, when I joined the army, I had barely just turned seventeen. I now appreciate my short lived military career; it built character and helped me keep on track of my life, I guess I can also thank it for leading me to my Alice.
I moved up through the ranks quickly and before I knew it, I was the youngest major in Texas – the others oblivious to my real age. I was helping to evacuate the women and younger children away from the battle site, we were pawns at the time on a large chessboard helping to keep the game going, and that was where I met Maria, Nettie and Lucy and it is where I had visited today.
The ground was open, leaving a large gash in the southern landscape. The moon beat down its ray relentlessly illuminating every precise detail of the distant thatched roofs of the houses, an echo of a remote cry far out into the barren land.
Every year I would make a small trip back home, alone, where I could taste familiar scents and watch memories float by as I crossed long stretches of abandoned path where I once lived. My parents have long been deceased, but their lifestyles haven’t – the old rocking chair where my mother used to cradle me stood by the front door and my father’s old writing desk stood proud and tall, empty letters still cluttering the table top. Picking up the old quill pen I remembered the smell of a burning tip and of drying ink. I scratch a few scarred lines into a spare piece of paper from my pocket, my father’s old parchment was far too precious to use, but a glint caught my eyes. Hard angular writing was covered on both sides on a piece of parchment; I flipped it over few times and read it to myself silently:
Dear my precious son Jasper Whitlock,
If your reading this it may be obvious that I have passed away and now reside on the other side of life, but I want you to know that even though I didn’t reveal my feelings to anyone, including you my own son, I still loved you more than life itself.
Your mother and I, we were very proud of you. We adored you like the first light of day and the last at sunset. When we found you went missing during the skirmish it felt like as if I was a machine, the cogs, bolts and screws were the only things that kept me going for the several years I lived. We were nothing without you! We have your old confederate uniform in the old cupboard by the stairs, it may need washed but it’s yours to keep – it held many wonderful memories for me and your mother, we savoured every moment we could out of that uniform from your first day to your last. It was given to us by your old Major, Captain Brandon, a firm young man but nothing like you were.
Of course I would like to know where you went during them agonising years and what happened if you’re reading this, but the thing I wanted to say the most was that I loved you with all my undying heart. You were my son and I was your father.
With all of our love,
Your mother and father
Vampires couldn’t cry but I was struggling to withhold should a strong feeling that surged through me that I couldn’t help but want to release some tears – tears of joy and of happiness. Folding the letter with a gentle hand I found the old moth covered closet under the stairs and took out my old uniform, my father was right, it did need a wash but it still pulled tight on my heart strings. I felt my heart swell twice its frozen size, a slow throbbing at the base of my chest.
I tried it on once more, feeling the fabric breeze against my charred marble skin once more, the musty smell of recollections from the past and the light jingle of something in the pocket. I pulled out the metallic object from my pocket, a slight prick on my thumb; my limbs tingled as the muffled light revealed the object. It was my badge I had to wear to symbolise me being a Major, the colours were a tad muted and flecks of gold were dotted around the edges like it had rusted. I pinned it on the breast pocket of the uniform and watched the dark figure in the mirror of a Confederate Soldier standing tall and proud.
I replayed the rest of my history in my head like a film reel; I remembered the searing pain as flames engulfed my body, the feeling of wanting to die. I could see Maria’s pale granite face hovering over me as I awoke, explaining to me what I was, a monster, a being created for destruction. The fights, the vigorous training I went through to raise through the ranks like in the army, the killing of the newborn’s each one leaving a new permanent scar in my skin. Peter and Charlotte escaping and coming back for me years later, and then the highlight of my existence – Alice. She danced into my life in a small diner in Philadelphia, a small bundle of joy. She was the reason I now lived and swore to protect the human race, she gave me a purpose and I was going to live up to it.
Looking deep into the mirror, I saw the same glint in my eyes that I had when I first saw her, it was a deep passionate desire to protect and love her like any person should do. Watching the silhouette of a soldier I was unaware of the travelling shadow behind me, its blood red eyes fixed upon my back, its voice was high and shrill and brought a chill to my skin. Its emotions were tangled in a sea of vicious anger and vengeance, and it was me she wanted.
“Major Jasper Whitlock has arrived home,” she purred as her long shadow clung to the wall. “I have been expecting you for some time.”
My heart was pounding uncontrollably, I knew that cold hearted voice from anywhere; it hugged the walls like death waiting for its prey to give in. It wasn’t possible she was here, she was dead. Or so I thought.
She stepped out of her cocoon and revealed a head of long brown locks and piercing blood red eyes, my throat clenched and everything turned dark.
“Welcome home, our coven has been long awaiting you.”
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