A Lebanese Vampire in HaitibySamuelx©
Victoria Abdullah is the name, and I'm a Vampire living in the City of Ottawa, province of Ontario. I was born in the Baalbek region of Lebanon in 1690, and became a Vampire in 1720. I stand five feet nine inches tall, curvy, with long black hair, light bronze skin and pale brown eyes. I don't look a day over thirty. Arab, female and one of the Undead, definitely not something you hear about every bloody day, that's for sure. After walking the planet earth for 323 years, I find that I can still be surprised, both at myself and others. I've lived in many places over the course of the centuries, from my beloved Lebanon to Syria, from Sudan to Ethiopia, and from Britain to the Caribbean island of Haiti, where I broke my most sacred rule and transformed a trusted friend into one of my own kind. A decision I've regretted ever since.
I met Leonard Saint-Preux in the year 1799, back when the island of Saint Domingue was plagued with war as French colonial forces struggled against an uprising of African slaves led by Black soldiers trained by the French forces themselves. Stalwart Black heroes like Toussaint Louverture and Jean Jacques Dessalines along with Alexandre Petion were leading the fight of the Black population to end slavery. I too had been brought to the island of Saint Domingue against my will. A wealthy French plantation owner named Guillaume Armand captured me in the streets of Paris, France, and brought me to the Caribbean to experiment on me in the hopes of discovering the key to immortality. He experimented on me, torturing me for years and bringing me to the edge of death and the brink of madness.
The old Frenchman wanted to become immortal, but he knew that I'd never turn him into one of my own willingly because I had sworn centuries ago that I would never turn any human being into one of the undead. I became a Vampire against my will the night a Vampire overlord named Elias Fouad, who had been roaming the vastness of Lebanon since the time of the Crusades, transformed me after feeding on me. I swore two things to myself the night I became a Vampire. I would destroy Elias Fouad, and I would never turn anyone into what I had become. In today's pop culture universe, people seem fascinated with Vampires. They think we're cool. They're so wrong about Vampire life it's not even funny. Sometimes I wonder where they get their information from. There's nothing happy, glamorous or cool about being a Vampire. Being one of the undead is like being a walking disease, and the only way you survive is by corrupting and destroying all life around you. A virus on two legs, that's what a Vampire is. People don't think the flu is cool, yet they idolize us Vampires because they don't know the truth of what we are. I for one will gladly enlighten you mortals.
Anyhow, for ten years I was kept in the secret underground chamber deep below the Armand plantation in the northern town of Cap Francais, which would later be renamed Cap-Haitien by the African insurgents once they drove the French colonists from the island of Saint Domingue. My captor kept me alive by feeding me animal blood because he knew that human blood would strengthen me to the point where I'd be able to break the adamantine chains he used to bind me. And he wouldn't have any of that, of course. One night, a group of former slaves attacked the various plantations of the area, led by a stalwart young Black soldier named Leonard Saint-Preux, the right-hand man of legendary insurgent hero Toussaint Louverture himself.
This brave young man and his friends stormed the plantation, killing the planters and freeing the scores of African men and women kept in bondage by the cruel Frenchman. His stronghold under assault, Guillaume Armand finally came for me himself. He thought the only way he could survive the present situation was by having me transform him into a Vampire. He was desperate, you see. He'd seen his men get cut down by dozens of armed African insurgents, former slaves who would show no pity to a colonial master like himself. When Guillaume Armand at last came for me, I refused to give him what he wanted. You should have seen the look in Guillaume's eyes when I spit in his face and denied his request for immortality, even as the plantation around us burned, for the African insurgents had set it ablaze. That's when he drew back his rapier, ready to cut my head off. I glared at him defiantly. At this point, after enduring hell for more than a decade, I welcomed death.
The disgruntled colonial master never completed his task, for a stalwart hero came to save me from him at the last minute. A tall, broad-shouldered and well-built African man in a military uniform stormed into the underground chamber, and shot Guillaume Armand dead before he could kill me. Talk about being rescued in the nick of time. The young African insurgent leader stood there, gun in hand. He stared at me, stunned. I knew how I looked. Pale and gaunt, weak from over a decade of torture and malnutrition. For several moments, the young man stood there, as if debating what to do with me. He had never seen a White woman in chains, I guess. I smiled sadly and told him that he should get out there. The place was burning, and if he didn't leave now, he'd be trapped along with me. He shook his head, and aimed his gun at me. I closed my eyes, welcoming sweet oblivion. I thought my rescuer was about to finish what my captor started. I was a White woman in his eyes, one of the very people who enslaved his kind. I didn't expect him to save me. But he did. He shot off the links of my chains, and took me into his arms as I slumped on the floor. I locked eyes with my savior, and muttered my thanks.
Leonard Saint-Preux saved me from the burning plantation that night, but not without a price. While leaving the pit, a heavy log fell on him. I fell next to him, too weak to move. Nevertheless I dragged the log off him, and took him with me. In the darkness I hid, and looked at my savior. He was dying. The log had crushed something vital. I hesitated. I could leave him here, but that wouldn't be right. I decided that I'd be fair, for a change. A life for a life. He saved my life and now I would save his. I shared my blood with him, and turned him into one of the undead. My kind. The blood drinkers. Those who walk in darkness. I broke my most sacred vow, to save the life of a good man. The thing about the virus which turns ordinary people into Vampires is that it changes you in more ways than one. A good man doesn't always make for a good Vampire.
The next day, Leonard Saint-Preux rose as one of the undead. Destined to live forever unless he got exposed to direct sunlight, staked through the heart, beheaded or burned to ash. I taught him the rules of being a Vampire, and how to survive. I told myself I'd leave him as soon as he could take care of himself. Well, that's not what ended up happening. We ended up staying together. For the next decade. I was there with him as the fledgling Haitian nation declared its independence from French, its former master. You should have been there. It was one of those great moments in human history. Leonard and I lived together, like husband and wife really. We shared everything, including the bed. We built a house for ourselves in the environs of Gonaives, in northern Haiti.
Yeah, Leonard and I were together, and we were in love. We were happy. I was happy for the first and only time since I became a Vampire. Still, Leonard and I had our differences. I wanted us to be together forever, just the two of us. Leonard wanted to make a difference. Fighting during the Haitian War of Independence against French colonial forces had given him a taste of heroism and conquest. He wanted to make more of our kind, and felt that we could rule the island of Haiti if there were enough of us. This horrified me, because that's exactly what my maker, the Vampire overlord Elias Fouad believed at the time he created me. I tried to dissuade Leonard from his course of action but he wouldn't change his mind. Against my wishes he took a twenty-year-old Haitian woman named Bethina Samuel and transformed her into one of us. Bethina in turn transformed her parents, Alfonse and Nadine Samuel. All three fledgling Vampires swore allegiance to the Blood King, as Leonard now called himself.
Do you know what it's like to realize that the person you love the most is becoming everything you hate and fear? I loved Leonard like you would not believe, but he was going down the wrong path, one I could not follow. That's why I left him, and the island of Haiti. For centuries afterwards, I roamed the world. I lived in the U.S. for a long time, settling in western Texas. Eventually I returned to Europe, and made my way to the Republic of Lebanon. The country I loved had changed so much, but home will always be home. I wouldn't leave Lebanon for another hundred years. I was at home during the Lebanese Civil War, when Christians and Muslims fought one another. I sided with Christendom, because that's the faith I was brought up in. During that time, I ran into Elias Fouad. We fought, and I nearly killed him. He escaped, but I swore he wouldn't get away next time.
Eventually, I found myself tired of Lebanon and yearning for the New World again. I boarded a ship bound for Canada, and settled in the province of Ontario around 1999. I've been living in that region of Canada for thirteen years. Fast forward to today. I was visiting an old friend in Montreal, Quebec, when I sensed a very disturbing yet familiar presence. None other than my former lover/nemesis Leonard Saint-Preux, in the flesh. The centuries had been kind to him. He was still a handsome devil. I didn't know what to make of him. Leo assured me that he had changed with the times, and walked away from the dark side. The world is too big to be ruled by an elite of bloodthirsty immortals, he assured me. I felt nervous around Leo, and found myself remembering the old days, when I loved him with all my heart and soul. I also remembered what he did, and found myself distrusting him. Leo got down on one knee and asked me for a second chance. Part of me will always love him but I don't know if I can ever trust him again. Do you think I should? I've been feeling quite lonely lately, and eternity is too great a span of time to spend alone.
I looked Leonard in the eyes and told him that I liked my life the way it was, thank you very much. Leonard smiled and told me he just wanted to be friends. With that, he invited me to check out Club Nirvana, a hip club in northern Montreal which he claims to own. Just an evening of fun and dance, he promised. That was three days ago. Tonight's the night. I'm going to meet with Leonard. If he proves himself trustworthy, I may give a tentative relationship with him another chance. If he tries anything funny, or breaks my heart again, I swear to Heaven that I'll drive a stake through his heart and keep on walking. There's only so much disappointment even an immortal woman can take from the male of the species. Anyhow, I'm ready to go out. I've got my little black dress on and I'm ready to rock. Do wish me luck, eh? Ta!