Midnight Apparition

May 10th, 2019
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  1. The books from the time before the Fall are an interesting example of the importance of context for understanding meaning. There are some which you can simply pick up and read with no problems; often the fairy-tales of old have the same magic as they did centuries ago. History books too are incredibly valuable, with the glimpse that they give of a world you can only begin to image. Others though are almost impenetrable; based on cultures too far gone to share with your own understanding. It’s in this jumbled pile of stories that a book manages to catch your eye. The garish black and orange cover gives way to a most unusual history book. You find yourself enraptured by the festival of ‘Halloween’; you tear through the tales of monsters and treats as you lay in your favourite reading nook on the old couch. Time blurs past and before you know it the patter of soft footsteps leading up to your apartment drags you away from your reading material.
  3. You greet Alita at the door with a tight hug; her broad simile is quickly buried in your shoulder. She smells of lilies and cloth, and you notice now that her lavender-patterned sundress is one you don’t remember seeing before.
  5. “Nice dress- is it new?” Alita gently leaves the hug and twirls around, the dress fluttering with every tiny movement. The joy in her voice is clear as the sky as she finishes the move with a flourish.
  7. “Yeah! Koyomi helped me find it. She’s great at picking clothes.”
  9. You nod with a quick smile and help take her things as she steps in to the shared apartment. After catching up on the day’s adventures, and helping Alita reach the top shelf where she knows you’ve hidden the chocolate, you grab the book which has so enraptured you. She sits deep in to the couch and nibbles occasionally on the block of Factory chocolate while she listens to you talk about the traditions of the old world.
  11. “It’s crazy- everyone dresses up as monsters and people give them chocolate and sweets.” Her ears perk up at the mention of chocolate; watching more intensely as you continue. “There’s even a bit in the book about the kinds of monsters people used to dress like. Here, look:” You flick through the book until you catch the page which stuck out for you. Her curious eyes follow the text as you hand her the book and finish your comment. “Things like vampires. Bloodsucking monsters who can charm you. People used to have the strangest myths…”
  13. You trail off as you notice Alita’s attention has been taken entirely by the book before her. She takes another absentminded bite of chocolate as she traces the details of the sketch of an aristocratic man in ruffled clothes splashed over the background of the entry. You can’t help but smile as you recognise the same kind of fascination which hit you, and you lean over to give her a hair a kiss. She makes a distracted coo in content and strokes her fine fingers over the back of your hand for a moment before turning to the next page.
  15. /-/-/
  17. It’s been a few days since Alita tore through the book; you’ve never seen her this deep in to reading before. Though the two of you have talked a little about it, life has mostly moved on, with your work taking you away in the mornings as usual, and her training and hunting keeping her busy in the evenings. The evening tonight is nothing unusual; Alita is out for a hunt, so you go about your evening routine with the buzz of Iron City a comforting background sound. Drifting off to sleep takes only a moment; as always, your last though is of the sleepy morning tomorrow with Alita.
  19. An insistent tapping noise breaks through the thick barrier of sleep and waking, and you groggily roll and stir, rubbing at your eyes as the tapping grows louder. Despite the groaning of your mind you manage to force your eyes open. The room is bathed in silver moonlight as you realise your curtains have been pulled back. A spike of worry runs down your spine and you quickly turn towards the window. The tapping has stopped now; instead you see a figure perched on your windowsill. The figure’s dark coat hangs over edge and flutters in the slight wind and as it turns its head towards the bed, the familiar eyes cause a sigh of relief. Alita grins pointedly at you, revealing to your great surprise a pair of sharp incisors. You feel your eyebrows shoot up at the sight. She takes the moment to hop down from the frame. Her voice is mischievous when she speaks.
  21. “Trick or Treat!”
  23. You feel the warmth rise in your heart as her actions suddenly make sense to you. You do your best to put on a serious voice as she steps closer to the bed.
  25. “Oh no I don’t have any treats, so I suppose... trick?”
  27. She looks genuinely disappointed and you can’t help the laugh which escapes you at the adorableness of it. Her frown deepens and as the light shines off her eyes you see the flash of red in her wide irises.
  29. “Hey I’m a scary vampire! No laughing! You should be paralyzed by my terrifying gaze.”
  31. You suppress the laugh which is bubbling up inside you and try to look as frightened as possible. The small smile which pops up on Alita’s face shows your attempt isn’t too bad. She leans over you now, false fangs gleaming in the silver light.
  33. “I’ll have to get my trick from you myself.”
  35. You stay frozen as she finds your neck, kissing it softly. You feel small pointed pricks as her teeth scrape across the sensitive skin there, and you shiver involuntarily. You feel her stifled giggle and she pulls back, looking down on you with her eyes full of mischief. Her face is only inches from yours, and you close your eyes as you wait for her lips to find yours. Instead though her whispered words break the silence.
  37. “I hope next time I’m here you have a treat ready. Otherwise I might not let you go so easily.”
  39. You feel a firm poke as she squishes your nose and before you can react you hear the whoosh of her coat as she exits in a flash, leaving only the echoes of her giggles behind to mark her presence. All you can do is stare up the ceiling and wait, shaking your head and smiling to yourself as you think about how lucky you are.
  41. A little while later you hear the creak of the apartment door being carefully pushed open, and the soft treading of Alita’s footsteps. She comes to meet you in the bedroom and you once again try out your acting skills as you see her eyes returned to their regular deep brown.
  43. “Thank god you’re home! I just had a scary visit.”
  45. She covers her mouth in mock-surprise and rushes over to the bedside.
  47. “Are you ok? What happened?”
  49. “A vampire came in through the window and demanded chocolate.”
  51. Alita’s shocked face is surprisingly good, though you can see the creases around her eyes give away how hard she’s fighting to hold it.
  53. “That sounds awful! How did you survive?”
  55. “She said she would let me live as long as I prepared a good treat for next time she came.”
  57. The smile breaks through on to her face finally, and she climbs in to bed next to you, entwining your limbs and batting her eyelids as she looks up at you.
  59. “I guess you better do that.”
  61. You laugh and give her a tight hug, which she returns en force as you kiss her forehead.
  63. “Guess I better.”
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