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Vampires Don't Cry : Blood Anthology

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Refresh your browser page to run scripts and reload content. Click the Internet Zone. But why had Father never gone there? Why had he never taken us? Rampling Gate that had always belonged to Ramplings, Rampling Gate which had stood for over four hundred years. We were in awe of the task that lay before us, and painfully confused.

Richard had just finished four years at Oxford. Two whirlwind social seasons in London had proven me something of a shy success. But now the carefree years were ended. We had to be careful and wise. A Mrs. Blessington, born and reared in the village of Rampling, has apparently managed it all these years. She was there when Uncle Baxter died, and he was the last Rampling to live under that roof. It was so peculiar, and so unlike Father, too. Yet it was a simple incident. In fact nothing really happened at all. Through the window of a train Father saw a young man who startled and upset him.

I could remember the face clearly to this day. Remarkably handsome, with a narrow nose and well-drawn eyebrows, and a mop of lustrous brown hair. The large black eyes had regarded Father with the saddest expression as Father had drawn us back and hurried us away.

An unspeakable horror, that is what he called it, that he should be so bold. Uncle Baxter was long dead by then. I glanced at him and our eyes met in a moment of confusion that quickly passed to something else. I leant forward:. The smile broke over his face easily. Uncle Baxter who spent the last of his fortune restoring the house, even this old Mrs. Blessington that has kept it all these years? Of course we must go and see the place ourselves. Blessington immediately. And much more fun to think of the journey itself. It was almost a wicked exhilaration I felt, breaking the gloom that had hung over us since the day that Father was laid to rest.

Vampires Don't Cry: Blood Anthology by Ian Hall; April L. Miller - FictionDB

There was some illicit pleasure in it, going to Rampling Gate at last. What did it all mean? He had worn a black greatcoat with a red woollen cravat, and I could remember how pale he had been against that dash of red. Like bone china his complexion had been.

Strange to remember it so vividly, even to the tilt of his head, and that long luxuriant brown hair. But he had been a blaze against that window. And I realized now that, in those few remarkable moments, he had created for me an ideal of masculine beauty which I had never questioned since. But Father had been so angry in those moments… I felt an unmistakable pang of guilt.

He at the desk, already writing the letters, and I was at a loss to understand the full measure of my thoughts.


It was late afternoon when the wretched old trap carried us up the gentle slope from the little railway station, and we had at last our first real look at that magnificent house. I think I was holding my breath. The sky had paled to a deep rose hue beyond a bank of softly gilded clouds, and the last rays of the sun struck the uppermost panes of the leaded windows and filled them with solid gold.

I felt mad suddenly and eager somehow to be laid waste by it, through fear or enchantment I could not say, perhaps a sublime mingling of both. I wanted with all my heart to jump down and draw near on foot, letting those towers grow larger and larger above me, but our old horse had picked up speed.

And the little line of stiff starched servants had broken to come forward, the old withered housekeeper with her arms out, the men to take down the boxes and the trunks. Richard and I were spirited into the great hall by the tiny, nimble figure of Mrs. Blessington, our footfalls echoing loudly on the marble tile, our eyes dazzled by the dusty shafts of light that fell on the long oak table and its heavily carved chairs, the sombre, heavy tapestries that stirred ever so slightly against the soaring walls.

Blessington laughed gaily, her dry hand closing tightly on mine.

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Her small blue eyes regarded me with the most curiously vacant expression despite her smile. We found our bedchambers, the very finest in the house, well aired with snow-white linen and fires blazing cozily to dry out the damp that never left the thick walls. The small diamond pane windows opened on a glorious view of the water and the oaks that enclosed it and the few scattered lights that marked the village beyond.

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That night, we laughed like children as we supped at the great oak table, our candles giving only a feeble light. It was just before I went to bed that I asked Mrs. Blessington if there had been anyone in this house since Uncle Baxter died. That had been the year , almost fifty years ago, and she was already housekeeper then.

How I loved the Spartan cleanliness of this bedchamber, the stone walls bare of paper or ornament, the high luster of the walnut-paneled bed. I sat silent for a moment looking in the mirror, as I took the last of the pins from my hair.

Vampires Don't Cry (New Blood: Donny Kelp)

It fell down heavy and warm around my shoulders. It felt good, like a cloak under which I could hide. But she turned as if sensing some uneasiness in me, and drew near. Slowly, tentatively, her fingers examined the long tresses that lay over my shoulders. She took the brush from my hands. I felt perfectly foolish telling her the story, but I managed a simplified version, somehow, our meeting unexpectedly a devilishly handsome young man whom my father in anger had later called the master of Rampling Gate.

It seemed she hung upon every word as I described him again. No intruder would dare to trouble Rampling Gate! Nothing, in fact, troubled the serenity of the days that followed. What was real were our long walks together through the overgrown gardens, our trips in the little skiff to and fro across the lake. We had tea under the hot glass of the empty conservatory. And all our discreet inquiries in the village met with more or less the same reply: the villagers loved the house and carried no old or disquieting tales.

Repeatedly, in fact, we were told that Rampling was the most contented hamlet in all England, that no one dared-Mrs. How were we going to remind ourselves? But we spoke not one word about the proposed disaster, and Richard wrote to his firm to say that we should not be back in London till Fall. He was finding a wealth of classical material in the old volumes that had belonged to Uncle Baxter, and I had set up my writing in the little study that opened off the library which I had all to myself.

Never had I known such peace and quiet. It seemed the atmosphere of Rampling Gate permeated my simplest written descriptions and wove its way richly into the plots and characters I created.