The plane landed on the Greek island of Kos with a resounding bump and a heavy lurch. ‘Co-pilot’, I thought, with a smile. My fellow passengers, true to form, ignored the instruction to remain seated until the plane had come to a halt, and made a group dive for the overhead lockers. I could never understand why they always did that, when faced with a wait to reclaim the hold baggage. But it mattered not, nothing did now; I had made my decision.
I had returned to seek out the one who would have made me on my last visit. Yiannis. But he had sensed in me a hesitation, and had left me mortal. Compassion in a vampire was, to me, hitherto unknown. I wondered if he would sense my return, my decision to seek out the Dark Kiss that would take me into the eternal night. I was ready now.
I yearned for the enveloping arms of darkness, the freedom from mortal worries and cares. My hesitation last time had been born of a reluctance to experience the grief and passing of another that I loved, for it would be beyond bearing. To ‘live’ without the warmth of family was truly abhorrent to me, but the grief had come anyway, and now I understood. I had known, but now came understanding; that they never truly left, just changed. As I would change.
Greece and its islands had been the birthplace of many of the ancient ones, including Yiannis, and in my return was a sense of coming home. I prayed he would know of my return and come to me.
The heat haze on the tarmac hit like a wall after the British cold autumn morning, and I relished it, for if the one I sought sensed my presence, it would be one of my last midday. I followed the impatient holidaymakers to passport control and handed my documents to the impassive customs officer. Did he know my purpose, I wondered? And if he did, would he care? I thought it unlikely. I boarded the coach that would take me to my hotel and, with luck, my chosen destiny.
I was lost in my thoughts and dreams of immortality when the coach halted in the car park of my hotel. The middle-aged driver handed me my suitcase and wished me a pleasant holiday. I smiled and nodded my thanks. There was nothing to say, really.
It was the hottest part of the day and, as usual, only the British were lying under the burning sun. I shielded my eyes against the glare as if, already, I was one of those that walked only by night. My sunglasses afforded some protection, but I knew then, that with the passing of the day, I would become one with the night, with the dark.
I knew it would avail me nothing to call him, for he would be sleeping, waiting for the night to fall, when he could leave his sanctuary and seek the nourishment that was the life-blood. I went to my room to rest.
As the sun capped the rugged mountain that went down to meet the sea, I was reminded of the words from Shelley’s poem, Love’s Philosophy: ‘As the sun clasps the earth and the moonbeams kiss the sea, what is all this sweet work worth, if thou kiss not me?’ And it was the Dark Kiss that I yearned for.
I knew that I would be able to find it from another that walked by night, but it was the tenderness and compassion of Yiannis that would take me into the night, into the dark. And it would be his compassion that would teach me the ways of the vampire.
As it is all over Greece, dusk did not give itself gracefully to the night, it came suddenly, like death. It was full dark and I went to my balcony and poured a glass of the local wine. ‘Yiannis, I have returned to you. I have come home. Will you come to me and make me as you are? Will you make me vampire? I am ready now.’
I returned to my room and lay on the bed, waiting, listening. It seemed that hours passed and I had begun to think that, after all, Yiannis had not heard me, had not sensed me – or worse, had rejected me. I felt the tears form behind my eyes, and a solitary one fall down my cheek.
‘Why are you crying? Did you not know that I would come to you?’
Yiannis. My maker had come for me.
When the death came, there was no pain, there was nothing except a never-ending darkness. And then a sudden warmth rushed through me as his blood filled my mouth, and then I opened my eyes into eternity, into the night, into the dark.