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Dusk Till Dawn

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Ye Yin watched. The vampire hunters were there, along with Fei Niao and her master. She didn't understand what was happening. Why were they here?

Her master moved his arm across and a barrier appeared in the center of the room.

Ya Long stood inside.

Ye Yin’s eyes widened. It all made sense. That's why his wristband was on the floor. Why her master had invited him to the tea house while she wasn't there. He was going to kill Ya Long.

“No!” She screamed. Everyone turned to look at her as she bolted down the stairs.

Ya Long turned around. And he seemed surprised to see her. “Xiao Yin,” he said. He moved to the edge of the barrier and pounded on it but it held. His hands glowed with red magic but he couldn't force it open.

The vampire hunters were in a formation around him. They were using some magic Ye Yin didn't recognize. Blue light swirled in a circle over Ya Long’s head. And it turned into a collar around his neck.

His hands went to his throat, as if trying to stop the collar from coming him. But he couldn't fight back. He was trapped.

“No!” Ye Yin screamed. She reached the bottom of the steps but her master threw a barrier in front of her. She slammed her hands on it. “Ya Long! Don't hurt him!”

“Kill him!” Fei Niao said.

The lead vampire hunter smiled. Ye Yin recognized him. She'd seen him reincarnated before. “We've waited three thousand years for this. Ya Long dies today.”

“No!” Ye Yin screamed.

There was a gunshot. Ye Yin watched Ya Long’s expression change to horror. The magic collar fell away.

The lead vampire hunter fired the gun again and Ya Long gasped in pain. He fell to his knees.

“No!” Ye Yin shrieked. The barrier ripped open in front of her and she ran in. She shoved one of the hunters out of the way.

The barrier around Ya Long disappeared and she dropped to her knees in front of him.

“Ya Long,” she said in a rush, “Are you okay? Ya Long?” She brushed her hand over his back and felt two holes there. He'd been shot twice.

“Xiao Yin,” Ya Long replied.

“Ye Yin, get away from him.” Fei Niao grabbed her and pulled her back.

“No! Fei Niao, let me go.” Ye Yin fought him as hard as she could but he was stronger than her.

There was another gunshot and Ya Long fell to the ground.

“Why isn't he dying?” One of the vampire hunters asked.

“He's so old, it will take time before he disappears,” the leader replied.

“Ya Long,” Ye Yin sobbed, “Let me go. Fei Niao, let me go.” Her vision was blurred from her tears.

She shoved Fei Niao and his grip loosened enough that she ran back to Ya Long.

She put his head in her lap. He smiled at her.

“I'm sorry I won’t be able to watch the sunrise with you anymore,” Ya Long said.

“Of course you will. You can walk in the sun for me,” Ye Yin replied, “You have to live, Ya Long.” She paused a moment. “Do you need blood? You can have mine. But you can't die.”

“I was shot with wooden bullets,” Ya Long said, “Blood won't save me.”

“But you can't die,” Ye Yin said.

She would see Ya Long again when they all reincarnated. But he had been there for her for three thousand years. He'd saved her so many times and she couldn't save him. The guilt overwhelmed her.

It had to be love. She couldn't imagine anything hurting worse than this.

“I don't want to forget you.”

She paused. There was a way she could remember. So she would never forget Ya Long. So she'd never forget how she was lied to and manipulated. She couldn't be so naive again. Not when it cost Ya Long his life.“Make me a vampire. I'll wait for you.”

“You never wanted that,” Ya Long replied.

“I can't forget you. This is the only way. Please.”

Ya Long looked at her. And he lifted his head.

“Xiao Yin!” Fei Niao shouted.

Ye Yin closed her eyes.

It hurt more than she was expecting. She could feel her blood leaving her body. People were screaming, someone was shouting her name, there were gunshots echoing. She expected to be hit but the pain never came. It was chaos that only got louder by the second.

Ya Long let go of her neck and he chuckled. “My vampire bride.”

Ye Yin gently set Ya Long back on the ground. She stood up, slowly turning to face Fei Niao and her master. The wind blew her hair back. She could feel her canines protruding. She wasn't human anymore.

Fei Niao looked terrified of her but her master looked calm. If anything, he just looked sad.

“Xiao Yin, what have you done?”

A gun was fired. Ye Yin held up her hand and a wooden bullet dissolved in front of her. Her hand glowed in swirling red magic. She had never gotten a handle of learning magic but this felt as natural as breathing had been. She had the power she needed.

Ye Yin snarled at the hunters. She sent out a wave of red magic and knocked everyone off their feet. While they were distracted, she grabbed Ya Long and ran.

She didn't even know where she was going. She just had to leave.

“Xiao Yin.” Ye Yin stopped running. They were at the square, by the street light. She was holding Ya Long bridal style.

“Ya Long?” She asked. She knelt down and set him down. He groaned a little as he hit the ground.

“I'm so sorry,” Ye Yin said, “This is my fault.”

“No, it's not,” Ya Long replied. He laughed, “All it took for you to want to join me in eternity is my death.”

“I'll wait for you. I'll find you when you reincarnate. We'll be together again.”

“You need to be inside before the sun rises,” Ya Long said, “I have a lair but your brother knows where it is.”

“I'll be careful,” she replied.

He told her how to get there.  Ya Long’s fingers started to turn to red petals.

“Ya Long, don't leave me,” Ye Yin said. She wanted to cry but the tears would not come.

“Xiao Yin, thank you.” Ya Long’s body disappeared into red petals. There was nothing left of him.

“Ya Long,” she sobbed. She held onto his wrist band, clutching it close to her chest. She couldn't believe he was dead. He'd survived so much, three thousand years, and a few wooden bullets ended him.

Someone was close. Ye Yin could hear their footsteps approaching her. There was a thudding in her ears.

“Miss, are you alright?” It was a young woman's voice.

Ye Yin looked at her. The snarl ripped it's way out of her throat.

The woman screamed and ran away. Ye Yin wanted to chase her. She wanted to kill her. She was hungry.

But she didn't run. She didn't want to hurt anyone. Despite her new instincts, she remained in place and tried to cry.

In what seemed like the blink of an eye, the sky was turning pink. Ye Yin had to get back inside. She was going to be trapped for the next twelve hours.

Ya Long’s directions weren't difficult to follow. With her super speed, she got there before the sun began to shine.

The lair smelled like Ya Long. Maybe she hadn't noticed it before, maybe it was her heightened senses, but it was only another stab in the wound.

She searched the lair and quickly found a bed. She felt exhausted after everything that had just happened.

Ye Yin collapsed onto the bed. She wasn't there a minute before she heard the sound of obnoxious flapping.

“What do you want?” she whined. She didn't open her eyes.

“You're my guardian,” the bird replied, sitting on the bed.

Ye Yin opened her eyes and looked at him. “Master gave you to me. I won't have anything to do with him so go!” She snarled at him.

Her bird flinched and put a wing over his eyes. “Guardian, I can't leave. You're my guardian. I'm bonded to you.”

“But you're Master's creation. You answer to him too.” Ye Yin collapsed back on the bed, covering her eyes with an arm. “I don't want to hear it.”

“I'm not going to leave you, Guardian.”

“Fine.” She uncovered her eyes and looked at her bird. “Watch the entrance. If anyone comes in, you report back to me.”

“Yes, sir,” the bird replied and flew away.

“And don't fall asleep,” Ye Yin shouted after him. Once the sound of flapping had ceased, she closed her eyes again. After everything that had happened, she needed a rest.

“Guardian! Guardian!”

Ye Yin ignored her bird and tried to get back to sleep. It felt really early. She hoped her master didn't want her to do early training.

“Go away,” She moaned, “I'm trying to sleep.”

“Guardian, Master and Fei Niao are here.”

Ye Yin didn't understand why that was unusual at first. Then the events of the previous day came back to her.

Ye Yin jolted out of the bed. She could hear quiet footsteps walking further in. And she smelled something incredible. Fei Niao and her master must have brought food with them. Her stomach growled in protest. She was starving and whatever they brought smelled amazing.

But she had to be strong. Even if she was hungry, she wouldn't be led back by them. They were responsible for Ya Long’s death. The reminder brought back the pain. It would have been better if this was all a dream. But Ya Long was gone.

Ye Yin stood up and left the bedroom. Her bird started flying after her.

Ye Yin went out on the walkway, so she could survey the room. Her hair billowed behind her as she walked. Fei Niao and her master were there. Her master looked directly at her.

“Xiao Yin,” He said.

That got Fei Niao’s attention. He whirled around and pointed a gun at her. Ye Yin recognized it. It was the gun that killed Ya Long.

“Fei Niao,” her master said.

Fei Niao looked upset but lowered the gun. But he didn't put it away.

“Why are you here?” Ye Yin asked. She didn't see that they had food with them. Ye Yin couldn't figure out what the wonderful smell was.

“We came to bring you back,” her master said.

“Master, we need to kill her,” Fei Niao said quietly but she could hear him clear as day.

“Why do you want to kill me?” Ye Yin asked, “Fei Niao, we were raised together. You're like a brother to me.”

“You're a monster now, Ye Yin,” he replied.

She stiffened at his response. He didn't call her ‘Xiao Yin’.

“I'm not a monster,” she said, “and Ya Long wasn't either.”

“Xiao Yin, we don't want this to come to blows,” her master said, “We only came to talk.”

“Fine, talk.” She crossed her arms and waited.

“We want you to come back,” her master said.

“What about Ya Long?” She asked, “You're the reason he's dead. How do I know you won't just kill me? After everything that's happened how can I ever trust you again?” She wanted to cry. There was a pressure building behind her eyes but it would not release.

“Killing Ya Long was a mistake,” her master said.

“But you don't regret it,” Ye Yin said, shaking her head, “Now all I have left is you. You haven't won. I loved him. You don't love me. You've never shown me the slightest affection. Why should I go back to you?”

“You're being ungrateful,” Fei Niao said.

“I don't care!” Ye Yin shouted, “You’re responsible for Ya Long dying. I will never forgive you!”

For a few moments, the room was silent. Ye Yin had of course been angry with them before, but it was nothing compared to how she felt now. There was no reason Ya Long had to die. What they had done in their past lives shouldn't reflect how they lived this one. And now Ye Yin felt free. She would never be used by either of them again.

Her master looked sad. Normally, that was all it took for her to start apologizing. But not this time. She felt too much anger to feel guilty.

“Fei Niao, let's go.”

“What? Master, we have to-”

Her stomach growled. What was she smelling? Her fangs extended and she couldn't stop them. She stared at them and realized what the smell was. It was their blood. She wanted to eat them.

“Look, Master. She's a monster. She's going to kill people. We can't-”

“I can't kill her. And I can't stand by and watch you do it. Xiao Yin has made her choice.” He looked up at her. “I hope you change your mind.”

“I won't,” she retorted.

Her master went to leave the lair. Fei Niao glared at her for a moment before following after Si Yin.

Ye Yin just wanted to cry.

It was finally night again and Ye Yin dressed herself up. She played with her hair in front of the mirror. At least the superstition about vampires not having a reflection was just a myth.

“Guardian, where are you going?” Her bird asked.

“I'm going to get something to eat. I'm starving.”

The bird flinched.

“Not that food. Real food. Stupid bird,” she said.

“Guardian, you're a vampire. You don't have taste buds.”

“Ya Long didn't but he was born a vampire. I was human so I still have them. I'll see you later.”

Ye Yin ran out of the lair. She couldn't even walk normally; she was just too hungry. The little stand where she used to get breakfast was still open. Thankfully, there was no line. She stopped running and just walked up normally. She couldn't wait to eat; everything spelled amazing.

“Oh, it's you,” the owner said, “It's been awhile since you've been here.”

Ye Yin almost corrected him but he was right. Si Yin had been keeping her trapped in a virtual reality for months without her knowledge. She hadn't been to the real shop in a long time.

“Yeah, it's been a while,” she replied.

“I still remember your usual. I'll get it ready.” He took her bag and she didn't bother to correct him. She could always save it. She really had to class up the lair now that she was living there. Ya Long had a style she did not agree with.

“Here you go,” the owner said, handing her her bag.

“Thank you,” Ye Yin replied with a smile. She walked away, the amazing smell dissipating as she left.

Still, she was excited. She was just so hungry. Even though it was the middle of the night, she wandered into a park and sat down with her food. She opened the plastic container and took a spoonful of soup.

Immediately, she spit it back out. She'd eaten anything so bad in her life. She couldn't believe it. She'd never gotten anything bad there. So why was the soup terrible?

Ye Yin took another sip and forced herself to swallow it. There was no flavor to it at all. It was boring and even the feel of it in her mouth was repulsive. Something was completely wrong.

A lovely smell wafted over to Ye Yin. She looked up and saw a couple walking on the path. They were laughing and speaking loudly. They hadn't noticed her.

Ye Yin stood up. She couldn't resist the smell. She took a step forward and then froze. She couldn't kill them. It was wrong. And even if she didn't kill them, if she bit them, they'd turn into vampires too. Ye Yin had chosen this life but she wouldn't force it on anyone.

Despite every instinct in her body screaming to kill them, Ye Yin backed away. She ran as fast as she could. She just needed to get away.

Ye Yin stopped. There was a squirrel in get path, eating a piece of bread. She stared at it. It didn't smell as good as the couple but it was much more appetizing than the food she'd left behind.

Ye Yin rushed forward. The squirrel didn't have a chance. She snapped the poor thing's neck and feasted on it's blood.

All told, it wasn't too weird a first meal as a vampire. It tasted okay, like a disliked meal. But she was too hungry to care. If it meant she didn't kill people, she could survive on this.

“Hey!” Someone called.

Ye Yin looked up. A police officer was there, looking at her. But once he saw her, his eyes widened in fear and he backed away. His heart was racing. Ye Yin could hear it.

She snarled at him and he took off. She knew she'd have to leave the squirrel but he would probably come back. She couldn't risk dying. Not until Ya Long reincarnated. She had to see him again.

Ye Yin took off back to the lair. It was as empty as it always was. Her bird flew around, as if taking a tour.

She was right behind him before he noticed her. He shrieked and a few feathers came loose.

“Guardian, you scared me,” he said.

“You need to pay more attention,” she snapped.

“Guardian, you're covered in blood. Did you-?”

“No. It was a squirrel.”

“You're eating animals?!” He asked, horrified.

“I need to eat. I can't eat human food.”

“Guardian, what are you going to do?”

Ye Yin walked past him. “I'll survive.”

200 years later


A young man was walking home alone. It was dark and the city seemed empty except for him. He had long blond hair that billowed behind him as he walked. He could have easily been mistaken for a model.

A group of men approached him from the other direction. They were being loud, laughing and joking amongst themselves.

“Hey, pretty girl,” one of the men said, “Where’re you going?”

The young man turned to glare at them.

“Shit,” another said.

“Do you have a problem?” the young man asked arrogantly.

“You shouldn't wander the streets so late at night,” The first man said.

“Do you think you scare me?” The young man retorted.

“Oh, we’re going to,” one of the men said. They approached the young man.

“Is there a problem?” Ye Yin asked. She flashed the young man a smile as she approached the group.

“Look, pretty girl, you don't need to get involved,” one of the men spoke.

“And you shouldn't harass people on the street,” Ye Yin snapped.

“I have this handled,” the young man said.

“But I won't let you kill them,” Ye Yin whispered back.

She looked at the men, she allowed her fangs to show and she growled at them.

The men all took off running.

Once they were out of sight, the young man growled at Ye Yin. “I was going to have a meal.”

“You shouldn't kill people if you don't have to,” Ye Yin replied, “I knew someone who used to drink blood of dead bodies.”

The young man looked disgusted. He looked so familiar it hurt that he didn't know her.

“Who are you?” He asked.

“I'm Ye Yin,” she said with a smile. She was ready to start again.