• Chapter 1
    New Beginnings

    Opening my eyes, I sensed something different about me. My throat burned but I was not sure what for. My vision was ten times better than it usually was. I could also hear everything: the chirping of a bird, the patter of an insect somewhere near me. My skin had the paleness of the moon. My hair was also different it was the straight black hair that I had always longed for. It was all so strange. What was I?
    It was as if my question was being answered for me. A woman appeared walking steadily towards me in a flowing black dress. Her skin glowed the paleness of the moon as mine did.
    “Hello dear…you must be Jasmine Cooper?” Her voice was that of a beautiful melody.
    “Y-yes…I am Jasmine Cooper,” I stuttered stupidly. My voice was also the sound of a melody.
    “Come on. Get up and I will explain to you what you are after we get you something to drink. I am sure that you are thirsty. Am I correct?”
    I felt for my throat which was hurting worse then I could ever have imagined. This was no sore throat that you get from a cold. It was something else.
    She reached for my hand and I took it. Getting up was difficult. It was as if I had forgotten how to walk. She towed me away from the cold grassy floor of which I was laying. I glanced around. I was in a forest thick with trees that I did not recognize. Where was home? How had I wandered so far away? I could feel tears pouring out of my eyes.
    “Don’t cry Jasmine. You are perfectly okay. Once we get you inside and something to drink you will feel much better,” she smiled down upon me as she spoke.
    I smiled weakly in response. I noticed how my throat seemed to burn of pain. The woman sped up her pace and so did I. I noticed how I seemed to have a great ability for speed. I wanted to cry out in agony of the pain that was hurting me from the burning of my throat but I felt afraid to utter a sound.
    We began to slow down and the trees grew less and less thicker here. We soon came to a winding path and we walked along it for quite some time. When we reached the end of the path, I saw before my eyes a giant castle, one that I had only seen in movies of photographs. I felt that my eyes were deceiving me. I thought no castles were still around. I thought that most of them had gone away in the turmoil of war.
    The doors of the castle opened magnificently. We walked in at a steady pace, and I gazed in awe at the wonderful site of the castle. I did not pay attention to the way we were going, but before I knew it we were in a kitchen like room filled with a few tables and lounging sofas here and there.
    “Sit. I will bring you something to drink,” she said as she left the room.
    I sat in one of the tables and held my throat wishing with all my will that the pain would go away.
    She came back with two goblets in her hands. I could smell what was in the goblets as soon as she entered the room. The smell was wonderful. I had never smelled anything like it before. She kindly handed me one of the goblets and sat down in the chair next to me. I looked in the goblet. Bright liquidly redness dwelled within it. Was it what I thought it was? Blood? Did that mean? No! It could not!
    I swallowed the drink in one swallow. The liquid ran down my throat and the pain eased a little as it went down. The taste of the liquid was wonderful. I knew it was blood. No other drink was that red. It tasted as wonderful as it had smelled. It was the sweetest most delicious taste I had ever had a chance to have in my mouth.
    I gasped at the thought of what I had become. I was a vampire! No! It could not be!
    “Jasmine?” I heard the woman ask. Her voice was full of concern.
    I was afraid to speak. She handed me the goblet. I took it and drank it more slowly this time let the liquid ease all of the pain. I sighed in relief when the pain really did go away.
    “T-thank you…” I stammered.
    She nodded and took the cups. She left the room and I heard dishwater running somewhere. She came back with a smile on her face.
    “Let’s get on with business. Have you figured out what you are?” She asked.
    “I’m a v-vampire!” I wailed.
    She bowed her head and looked at me solemnly.
    “I am terribly sorry about this,” She said with the saddest expression.
    I just nodded and looked around the room.
    “Where are we?” I asked.
    “We are at the wonderful castle of Ashford. Located on the shore of Lough Comb. After many years this castle has become deserted and we took it over with no problem. All we had to do was pay a small amount of money to own this wondrous place. We have not had any problems with anyone trying to take this place over.” She said with a sigh.
    I just stared at her. I remember my mom telling stories of this castle. Of how it was haunted and no dared to go here. The vampires were the reason. I would have to tell her that.
    “What about my parents and my family?” I asked.
    I was worried. Did they know about me? Had they called the police to go looking for me? The police would never look here. No one ever looked here.
    “I informed them of where you are and what you have become.” She replied.
    “I see. Listen, who are you? I am talking to a perfect stranger. I don’t mean to be rude, but I want to know who you are.” I said backing away from her.
    She could be a dangerous vampire for all I knew.
    “I am Headmistress Alana Edgecombe.” She stated with proud declaration.
    “Headmistress? So this is a school then?” I asked.
    “Yes. This is in fact a school. We take in newfound vampires all of the time. And we raise them to be proper vampires, training them to live among humans when they will be ready to leave. I am sorry to say that the vampire that did this to you will not be leaving this castle for a long time.” Her voice sounded deadly at her last sentence and I felt myself shiver.
    I yawned. I was exhausted. I was eager to get some sleep and call my parents.
    “Come on dear. I will take you to your room. Your roommate is waiting for us. I have given her permission to take the rest of the night’s classes off to show you around the castle.”
    “Night?” I did not realize it was night. I guess I was not paying attention.
    “Yes. You will have your classes at night since the sun hurts our eyes. Class begins every night at nine and ends four in the morning. Breakfast begins at eight-thirty, lunch is at eleven, and dinner is right after classes are over. Get up now, let’s go.” I stood up and followed her.
    We walked down many long and narrow hallways. Until we finally reached, a widely open spaced room filled with televisions and sofas. I even noticed some video game systems sitting near the televisions. Smiling I followed the Headmistress into a door at the end of this room. I looked around one more time before we entered this door. I noticed another door off to the side of this one and from the angle where I was at I thought that the room inside the door looked like a kitchen. We then walked up a flight of stairs and into another hallway that held many doors.
    “Here we are! Room 213!” She pulled a key out of her pocket and handed it to me. “Here open the door.”
    I took the key and noticed that my name was imprinted on it.
    Sighing I put the key in the lock and turned the knob so that the door would open. When I opened the door I gasped at the site I saw.
    The room was huge. Probably about the size of my sisters, room and my room put together. I saw two beds opposite each other, two bookshelves, and two desks. Looking on one side of the room, I saw a girl who had short black hair and she was sitting on her bed reading a book. There were multiple posters of boy bands on her side of the room that I knew. My side of the room was blank except for my things hat were laying around here and there and I noticed my television was against the wall at an angle where both my roommate and I would be able to see it.
    I also saw three other doors in the room. Two of them had to be closets and the other had to be the bathroom. I would have to check them out later.
    “Hello Headmistress.” The girl said sitting her book beside her.
    “Hello Fiona. This is the new student. Jasmine Cooper. Jasmine, this is Fiona Hargill. She will be your roommate and she will show you around. I hope that you two will become wonderful friends. Most roommates here do. Well, Jasmine. I will bring by your schedule later. See you girls at dinner.” She said leaving the room with a smile on her face.
    I closed the door behind her, let out a big sigh, and sat on my bed, which had my favorite blanket sitting upon it.
    Fiona just stared at me for a while which I soon found to be nerve-racking.
    “Um, I’m not sure about this. I mean….the vampire thing.” I said shyly.
    She smiled warmly.
    “It’s alright. I’ve gotten used to it,” she said with a shrug of her shoulders.
    “How long have you been here?” I asked.
    “Six months. It’s been lonely in here without anyone else here,” she replied.
    “Hopefully I can change that. Listen, do you know where a phone is. I don’t have a cell phone.”
    “Oh! Your mom had it sent with your stuff. Here,” she reached under her bed for a small cell phone package, “I think it’s going to need charged first though.”
    I took it from her. It was a Razor. Sitting on my bed, I opened the box and put the battery and the charger in the phone. I then found a plug to plug it in with the charger.
    After that was done with I looked around my side of the room to see what all was there. My laptop sat on my desk. My NintendoDS sat next to it with it’s’ charger and my mp3 with the charger for it sat on the other side of the laptop. I saw my family photos I owned sitting on my bookshelf with books and I felt like crying the instant I saw them.
    “So, do you want to take a tour of the castle?” Fiona asked after the long moment of silence.
    “Can I get a shower first? I feel all icky. Where are my closet and the bathroom?” It was true. I did feel all icky.
    “That’s the bathroom,” she said pointing to the correct door, “and that’s your closet.”
    “Thanks,” I replied.
    I walked over to my closet to grab a new outfit. I found a plain top and some jeans and underwear. I’d get my shoes and purse later.
    I walked into the bathroom and was not surprised now that this room was also huge. There was a shower separated from the bathtub, a toilet and two sinks. I looked under the sinks to see if any of my bathroom supplies were there. They were. There were also towels and washcloths sitting there. I grabbed one of each and hopped into the shower (hypothetically). After I had cleaned off, I got out I dried my hair and got dressed. I brushed my teeth as well for they had little red specks on them from the drink I had. I did not want to think of the word that it was.
    I left the bathroom to see Fiona sitting at her desk typing on her laptop very fast. I quietly so as not to disturb her, went to my closet and got a pair of shoes on. After that, I got out my purse and checked to see if my wallet and ID were in it. To my surprise, I found a credit card and a note from my mom:

    Dear Jasmine,
    I have heard the news of what happened to you. I am terribly sorry. I should not have let you leave the house that day. You would be here home with me now.
    I gave you a credit card so that you can buy things you need. Your headmistress said that you take monthly visits to the store so you can buy the necessities that you need. Don’t over spend it please.
    Call me as soon as you can.
    p.s. Dad and Chloe say that they miss you.

    I wiped the tears away that had formed at the corners of my eyes. I stuffed the note and credit card back into my wallet and left the closet. I had to clear my throat to get Fiona’s attention.
    “Oh! Sorry. Come on let’s go!” she logged off her computer and got up. I could tell that she was excited to show me around.
    We left the room locking the door behind us. I looked around as we were walking. There were portraits hanging on the walls and plants sitting on small tables. Leaving the dorm area, we headed to a set of stairs and walked up them. Then, we took a left and walked into a hallway full of bookshelves and doors. Fiona stopped at an old looking bookshelf filled with dusty books. She pulled a book slowly from the shelf and the shelf opened like a door.
    “Wow,” I said. I had seen this kind of thing in movies but never in real life.
    Fiona chuckled softly and I followed her into a huge cafeteria. My mouth dropped about ten centimeters. There were multiple round tables sitting here and there and there were many isles like in a buffet.
    Come on. Before too many come in here,” Fiona said.
    I followed her like a puppy with my eyes looking everywhere around me. The room smelled wonderful. I wondered blatantly if we really ate regular food as well as drinking blood.
    “Do we eat regular food then?” I asked Fiona.
    “Sure do! It helps us not feel Thirsty too much. It wards it off. There are too many stories out there about vampires that are untrue,” she replied.
    “Why doesn’t anyone write a true book about us then?”
    Fiona shrugged, “I don’t know. Maybe you should.”
    “Yea right. And get in trouble for it. Besides, I can’t write very well anyway.” It was true I could not write very well.
    “I see,” Fiona said with a sigh.
    We walked to one of the buffet bars and I got a plateful of everything. When we got to get our drinks I was looking for the blood.
    “What are you looking for? Blood?” Fiona asked.
    I glared at her. “Yes.”
    “We don’t get blood that way. We get blood every three weeks and we only get amounts that are only needed and not wanted. Then when it comes to either our seventh or eighth year we begin to learn to hunt.”
    I shuddered. “Exactly how long do we stay at this Castle?”
    I got a Coke and we headed towards an empty table.
    “Twelve years,” she replied with a sad expression.
    “What!? Twelve years! No way! So, what, am I technically a like a first grader then?” This was terrible news.
    She nodded sadly, “But we call it first year.”
    We ate in total silence, our thoughts consuming our words. Students began getting up and leaving the cafeteria. I stood up and threw my plate in the trash. Fiona followed me to our room.
    “That was a nice meal,” she commented.
    “Mhm,” I knew she was trying to bring up conversation but I did not really feel like talking.
    “I’m going to read,” Fiona said after a long moment of silence.
    “Ok, I guess I’ll call my mom”
    She shrugged her shoulders and got the book she was reading earlier and plopped herself on her bed.
    I went to the plug that I had put my phone on. I picked it up and sat at my bed letting myself get comfortable.
    There were five missed calls and two text messages.
    Sighing I listened to the messages.
    “Jasmine its mom. Call me A.S.A.P.!”
    “Jasmine? Why aren’t you answering the phone? Call me!”
    “You better call me soon or I’ll_oh, never mind! Just call!”
    “Do I need to call the school? Call home!”
    “If you don’t call by six a.m. I am going up to the school. You hear me missy!”
    The texts were the same. I knew I had better call. I did not need her coming here. I bet she did not even know where here was. I dialed home.
    “Jasmine! Thank goodness! I have been worried sick about you! What took you so long to call?” Her voice the even more panicked then I have ever heard it.
    “Mom, I had to take a tour of the place. In addition, who knows how long it was before I woke up. How many days have I been gone?”
    “You’ve been gone for about a week honey. I almost had the nerve to call the cops to set out a search party for you but that was when that woman called and said what happened and that you would be okay, and that you wouldn’t be able to come home for a few years.” She explained.
    “Twelve years is more like it. I have only been here for a day. I must have been passed out the whole time.” Jeez, vampire transformation must take a long time.
    “I’m sorry honey.” She replied. She sounded exhausted. She probably stayed up all night just waiting for me to call.
    “Mom, get some sleep. I am fine. Tell dad and sis I love them, ok?”
    “Hmm…Ok. Call me if you need anything.”
    “Yes mom. I love you.” She hung up.
    Well, that was not so bad. I was expecting tears and yelling. But, that’s just expectations.
    “Fiona, I’m going to get a bath.” I said as I put away the phone.
    “Ok.” She replied, her eyes on her book.
    I gathered my nightclothes and went to take a bath.

    After the worry-free bath, I settled myself comfortably in my bed and began to read a book. Fiona was doing the same thing. I looked up from my reading and spoke to her:
    “Listen, I’m sorry for all of the silence. But, I need to adjust.” I said.
    “Yes, I understand. I’m still not completely used to the change but it takes some time to deal with the fact that you are what you are.” She explained putting her book away.
    I sighed and leaned over to put my book on the bookshelf.
    “I’m going to go to bed early. Do you have a clock set?”
    “Yes,” Fiona replied pointing to her clock sitting on the windowsill.
    I turned out the light on my side of the room, pulled my covers over me, and fell asleep.