Letters to Elise: A Peter Townsend Novella / Page 17

Page 17


I have to let you go, Elise, my love, my one, my true. It is the only way I can truly love you and keep your memory alive, the way it was meant to be. I have to move on and stop writing you these letters.

I love you. I will always love you. No matter what dreams may come, you will always be the only dream I’ve ever truly had.

Goodbye, my love,

Peter

June 24, 1958

Elise-

I haven’t written you in over fifty years. I’ve thought of you, often, but I refused to put my pen to paper. Ezra deserved a brother again, and I promised him that I would be one, that I would finally allow you to stay in the past.

I think that’s a promise I’ve kept. Since the turn of the century, I’ve begun to prosper, as has Ezra. He went back to being a business man, something he always thrived at, and I helped him when I was around. I went off to fight in both Great Wars, but this time, Ezra stayed behind. He let me go alone, which I think is progress for our relationship.

Being a soldier is still the only thing that truly makes sense to me. The battlefield is the only place where I feel at home in my skin. That sounds horrible, with all the death and terror around them, but it’s because of that that I can focus on being alive and keeping those around me alive. It allows no time for introspection.

I’m between wars now, and Ezra has set up home in Minnesota. I wanted to move back to New York, but Ezra prefers the Midwest. Something about it appeals to him, and I don’t understand what, but I am starting to believe he was drawn here.

The winters are nice, and the lakes are lovely. We built a house on a lake this summer. It was wonderful. Ezra made the plans himself, and we actually built it with our own two hands. It ended up being more work than we anticipated, but it was worth it. It’s a shame we’ll have to move in a few years.

I even got a dog, the first since Hamlet died all those years ago. He’s a Giant Schnauzer, and despite his name, I hadn’t expected him to be as large as he is. He’s even bigger than Hamlet, and I’m certain Hamlet had Irish Wolfound in him. He’s black, and nearly the size of a horse, so I named him after my father’s horse, Lysander.

Ezra hasn’t dated in years, not since Abigail. I don’t think he’s bedded a woman, not since St. Petersburg, but that whole mess spoiled the experience for us both, I think. He’s been chaste and quiet. Not exactly depressed, but something sated.

Until two weeks ago. He came home with a mess of a vampire. She was newly turned and had no idea what a vampire was or how to be one. It was amazing she hadn’t gone on a rampage killing everyone. Her clothes were torn and filthy. Twigs and blood were tangled in her hair. She was a complete and utter fright.

But I liked her instantly. It’s hard to describe the way I feel about her, actually. It’s not the same as it was with you, or as it is with Ezra, but some odd combination. I cared for her the moment I saw her and knew she would be part of my life, a part of our lives.

Ezra was practically falling over himself bringing her in the house. He was in love with her, and I could feel it coming off him in waves. He looked at as if he’d never seen anything more beautiful, but then, he probably hadn’t.

It didn’t take long for us to realize that she is his. They are meant for each other the way you and I were meant for each other. Their blood is bonded together, and because my blood is bonded with Ezra’s, I am bonded with her too.

Her name is Mae, and she’s already a fixture in our house. Ezra didn’t go to work the first three days she lived here because he didn’t want to leave her. Not even for a moment.

I’m certain that she loves him back, but she’s been through some kind of hell. Her transformation had to be terrifying, and by the wedding band on her hand, I know she’s left something behind. She’s still dazed most of the time, but she’s warm.

I hadn’t even realized that our home was lacking warmth until she arrived and brought it with her. It’s as if someone lit a fire in the hearth for the first time. She’s cleaned herself up, and she’s even cleaning the house. Not that Ezra and I were ever that messy, but we’ve lived as bachelors for far too long.

I know I should feel like a third wheel, but I don’t. It’s as if she’s a piece that’s been missing from our lives all this time, and it all feels a bit more complete. Even Lysander seems happier with her around.

I don’t know why I’m writing to tell you this. It’s not as if I’ve stopped loving you or missing you – I never will. But I feel… almost content. If that makes sense. And I thought you would want to know.

Wherever you are, you won’t get this letter. But I wanted you to know that I’m okay. I truly think I’ll be alright.

Yours forever-

Peter

April 15, 1994

Elise-

I suspect this is how a father feels, and as a first time parent, I wanted you to know. I don’t even know how to describe to you what I’ve been through. The ridiculous nature of it all still seems so unbelievable.

Mae has had the luxury of being born in the twentieth century, and most of the blood she’s drank has been from human blood donations. She gets cold bags of blood from a blood bank and stores them in the fridge until she drinks them.

She has drunk human blood before, but for some reason I don’t understand, she prefers the bag to the fresh humans. It has something to do with guilt. I don’t know that I ever felt guilty from feeding on humans – only killing them.

A few weeks ago, Mae decided she wanted go out to eat, so to speak. She felt uncomfortable having Ezra watch her pick up somebody and bite them, so I offered to go with her. She was actually quite excited, claiming that we don’t do enough things just the two of us.

I took her to a vampire club in downtown Minneapolis. I used to go there a lot in the eighties, when it was disgustingly loud and vibrant. I liked the noise of it. Ezra would never go to it, though – he’s sworn off clubs, and I’m not sure where he finds food exactly.

Mae was thrilled to pieces. She went over a week without eating in anticipation of our big night. Too much anticipation, as it would turn out.

Shortly after we arrived, Mae found her prey. I think she picked him because he looked so easy. He wore flannel and ripped jeans – a fashion trend I’ll never understand and can’t wait until it goes out of style. But there was something clumsily charming about him. Even I had to admit it. It was his laugh, and he laughed at everything she said.

She took him to a back room for privacy, while I lingered out front looking for my own dinner. Fortunately, I hadn’t gotten that far away when she began screaming hysterically for me. I raced back to the room to find him dead. Mae had drained all the blood from him.


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