Polly Fan Fiction by Lucy Zhang: How I Became a Vamperwolf

by Lucy Zhang, Age 16, USA

Artwork by Mia Martins

 

Polly Fan Fiction1 week before the solstice

Dear Diary,

The sun sets every night, at the same time, casting an ephemeral blackness on the same buildings and marking another day. Each light and darkness, tied together under through their ability to cast shadows. When there is light outside, people walk in their tattered shoes as I follow behind. I hold the money I live by in one hand and a wash cloth in the other in case another Clique’s automobile sprays mud in my face.

At night, a new society awakens. From my window, I hide my head under the covers. Outside, however, I can always hear the thundering music reverberate around the world, pounding in my head from a hidden place. Sometimes, I think I can hear the clinks of wine glasses; reality becomes my imagination.

The clubs are societies of excitement and danger. Among the Cliques who pervade the clubs, the Elite clearly mark their territory and superiority to all. It’s the exclusivity and the depth. Beneath the superficiality of the Cliques, the Elite conversely do not act, but simply are.

I encountered an Elite when I was younger—Scum, like me, don’t remember our ages. We don’t disregard age, but simply have no time to keep track of such trivial things. It was simply a time when I was naïve and spoke too much and asked too many questions. As a small girl, I walked down the same path with worn pavement and cracked, decaying buildings. One day, when the sun was high, possibly at the highest point in the sky, I bumped into a woman.

She was a shadow in light. She wore an ivory cloak. A large, black hat hid her eyes from view. I looked up at the towering figure. Her small, red lips and contrasting clear, white skin struck me as an ethereal beauty.

She stared down at me and smiled. It was not saccharine, but pleasant and almost completely indifferent to the impoverished setting she stood in. Without knowing better, I grinned back a toothless grin, enjoying the attention. The woman patted my head and whispered “good bye.” I stupidly said, “See you later.”

Of course, I wouldn’t see her again. I know that now. I am Scum. I walk, I live, I breathe beneath everyone else.

I am a lurker—a shadow in the background. I am completely happy like this.

Sincerely,

She-who-will-always-be-Scum

*

5 days before the solstice

Dear Diary,

Several boys stole my lunch today. I don’t care too much. I hope they enjoy my stale bread and stinky cheese. I decided to venture near the downtown supermarket, hoping there would be some cheap food I could get my hands on for lunch.

When a group of Clique girls passed by, I hid behind the building, wondering what the girls were doing in the downtown area, which was filled with destitution. My eyes sharpened as I saw one of the girls whispering to a blank wall.

I watched a door suddenly materialize from the wall. A figure dressed in silk stood in front of it. My eyes widened; I imagined the price of the silk and quickly chastised myself. The number was probably outside the range I could count to. The figure seemed to exude beauty. Diary, I was, for lack of better words, enraptured. I was unconsciously walking closer to the door. Before I became visible, the girls walked through the door and disappeared. I approached the door cautiously.

But what was I, a mere Scum, supposed to do? Join a society of people who were leagues hire than me? I would have a greater chance of becoming an Elite simply by yearning to become one. There was no point in trying to open that door. So I simply watched it for another three hours, waiting to see if anyone would enter. But only more Scum passed by.

Do you think it’s embarrassing or weird that I’m simply watching and waiting for people? I know the door leads to an Elite club. Only vampires and werewolves have the ability to create such ephemeral doors. Sometimes, I dream that I have become an Elite. That dream is so far away, I scorn that naiveté. I am better off an observer in the dark. The door is a red herring, trying to stray me from my path.

So I turned away from the wall where the door once was and disappeared back into the shadows.

Sincerely,

The-lurker-behind-the-shadows

*

3 days before the solstice

Dear Diary,

I have been hanging around the grocery store quite a lot. I would say it’s because I’m constantly hungry, but I would be lying. I have been watching those Clique girls go through the door numerous times. The words that they whisper to the wall are numbers: 97717.

I feel as though the knowledge is gnawing at my brain. What am I supposed to do with it? Writing the numbers down here only confirms my anxiety: this is not a dream. My actions have become too drastic; my preoccupation on that door was not unconscious, but I hadn’t realized until now how entrenched my mind was in this.

Tell me, is it right to turn those numbers into whispers? My will doesn’t seem to play into this. I have always sat out, looking in on society, watching things happen. I am a dreamer. I dream, but I don’t act. It has always been that way. It has been the safe way.

I prevent myself from rising too high, where the fall back down can only become greater and more painful. I read once in a book that had dropped from a Clique’s book bag: “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” What is the world trying to make me? A Scum? That’s what I am—that’s all I am.

Yet I still want to try, even if it means defying society. I imagine the person who said the quote was not well known, if so few people follow his words. After all, if more people followed him, Emerson, there would be no castes. I think.

Sincerely,

Emerson’s-new-pupil

*

1 day before the solstice

Dear Diary,

I did it. I whispered nine-seven-seven-one-seven to the wall. I was not dressed in any fancy clothes for clubbing because I expected to be rejected anyway. But when the door emerged, the woman welcomed me in with a kind expression. A subtle smile graced her mouth, displaying not sign of ill will. Yet, I was still unnerved.

As I entered the club, music blasted from unseen sources. I saw humans—no, vampires dancing and lounging. It was strange. They all had different physical features, and yet all seemed the same. A charismatic, almost addictive aura drew me in to the crowds. All of them were exotically beautiful, with high cheekbones and eyes like liquid silver.

It suddenly seemed cold.

I didn’t want to dance. I felt out of place. I really was not meant to be with the vampires in a club. However, I couldn’t ask where the exit was. The vampires were beautifully intimidating. I simply stood in the corner beneath the comforting shadow of a towering shelf, becoming my lurking self. Even in such a lavish society, I was still the same. Why did I even try?

I stumbled in the dark over something solid. My eyes shut, anticipating a painful fall, which didn’t come. I looked up to see a pair of eyes staring at me. It was a vampire. She wasn’t like the other lively, dancing vampires. She was old, with grey hair and lines under her eyes. I never knew a vampire could look old. Yet, her skin was white and pure, nearly translucent. Her lips were a solid red.

“What are you doing in the dark?” She asked me like a grandmother lecturing a child.

I stood back and said softly, “I was watching.”

“You are not a vampire,” she responded. It was not a question. She stated it with such resolution that I thought she had made some revolutionary discovery.

“Of course not,” I said.

“Why are you here?”

“Because I chose to come. What other reason do I need?”

The woman chuckled.

“Indeed, what other reason do you need?” She smiled staring at his weathered hands, as if speaking to himself. “None—none at all.” She looked back up at me, “If you’re careful, you will find more than you came for. From what you gain, you can find your cause.”

The woman left. I stared at her hunched figure as she disappeared into the waves of people vampires. Indeed, what was there to lose? There was more to lose from remaining my moping, lethargic self. I straightened my back and strengthened my conviction. I withdrew my hands from my pockets.

I felt a cold object as I withdrew my hand. I brought it close to the dim light and opened my hand. A silver bullet lay in my palm. I brushed my thumb over the rounded tip and clasped my hand tightly around it. I wondered how much money I would get if I sold it. Who knew I would gain this opportunity to potentially dig myself out of the Scum caste.

Sincerely,

Soon-not-to-be-Scum

*

Day of the solstice

Dear Diary,

I haven’t sold the bullet yet. For some reason, I can’t bring myself to part with it. The bullet has created this inexplicable self-confidence. It feels good. I draw more people’s attention and can no longer hide in the shadows.

When I went to the club again, I was able to dance with the others. I did not feel out of place. I felt like a raging tempest, freeing what I had suppressed due to fear and inaction. I came across my reflection right before leaving the club. I hadn’t realized that my eyes seemed larger and more alluring. They were like the vampires’ liquid silver eyes, but instead coloured gold—like a werewolf’s.

Tomorrow is a full moon. I wonder. Regardless, I intend to have an adventure.

Diary, before I stop writing, I’d just like to say that I don’t think I will be writing as much now. I’ll be busy socializing with new friends and, well, living. Today is a nice day to say goodbye. Did you know that it’s also the solstice today?  The sun is at its highest point in the sky.

Sincerely,

Your Vamperwolf

*

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