Merelda opened the plush curtain from her five star honeymoon suite. The day had been as she had always imagined. Gill was the man of her dreams and would make a wonderful life partner. She could hear him in the background putting away the last of their luggage and making sure everything was in place. The flight over had been long and exhausting. There were a couple of layovers, but they finally reached the London airport. The car was waiting to take them to their castle get away. It was a place that his bride had discovered while surfing the net for the perfect location to begin their lives. Gill wrapped his arms around her while she stood at the balcony looking out on the waves from the sea. She took a deep breath and kissed his hand. He had prepared a bubble bath for both of them to enjoy.
Her mood was quiet and almost somber. Gill thought that maybe she was upset. He knew the preparation had been long and the flight not one of the best. So he asked his new bride what was the matter. She quickly assured him that it was the length of the day and horrible food on the plane that made her mood less than festive. She was tired but happy that things had gone the way she had planned and now she was with the love of her life. Gill smiled at his new bride and gently kissed her soft pink lips. He ordered room service and began to prepare the bedroom for their first night as husband and wife.
Merelda’s thoughts were filled with the visions of her lavish nuptials. They had been married in a large cathedral in New Orleans. A few hundred of their closest friends gathered for the reception at a local casino hotel. Their guests would have the luxury of fine wines and 5 course meals and enjoy the many slot machines and texas hold ‘em tables. Their guests would spend the afternoon dancing to 80s tunes and emptying their wallets and purses. The wine flowed freely and their laughter filled the halls. It was an event like no other and as their limo pulled away from the hotel, she smiled as a tear ran down her perfectly polished cheek. She was finally a bride and that meant life would take on a new meaning. By morning she would regain her strength and be on her way to the next chapter of her life.
Gill worked steadily. His plan was to prepare a series of pamperings for his new bride. He would start with a soothing massage using the lavender oils that one of the guests had purchased as part of gift set. The combination bath and hot tub bubble lightly with the claming scent of lavender as well. He had placed her favorite lotions and body sprays on the counter. That way she could have her pick once he had bathed her from head to toe. He wanted to make sure that this night, her first night, would be special and magical. She had confessed to being a virgin so he knew that whatever transpired that night would set the tone for their lovemaking for the rest of their marriage. He did not want to spook her.
After an elegant dinner of lobster, steak and salad, the couple took a moment to stand out on the balcony and feel the cool breeze coming from the north. The wind was filled with the spray from below as a wicked storm brewed on the horizon. Gill motioned for his bride to join him in the bath. He washed every inch of her and was a slave to her needs. He combed through her long dark hair and tied it gracefully behind her neck. He caressed her arms and moved his hands along her hips. She was so beautiful and curvy that he could feel his mouth begin to water at the thought of making love to her. But he waited and began to gently dry her with a large towel. When he was done he dressed her in a long white gown. It was silky with lace on the bodice. It draped over her shoulders and hugged her hips gently. When she moved, she looked like and angel as the fabric glided over the floor beneath her footsteps. Gill marveled at the woman and kissed her feet. He stood before her and stroked her shoulders. He eased her over to the bed as he dimmed the lights. He kissed her gently as he ran his hands gently around her thighs while lightly squeezing her soft, succulent thighs. He could feel her giving in to his touch quite easily. He was pleased and continued as he wanted to make love to his bride.
Merelda turned the lights off and responded to her new husband's touches with kisses and soft moans. He was pleased with her and had waited for that moment as she had wished. She knew that they could not be as one until they were married, she was from an old family and that was the only way it could have been. But as he drew closer to his conquest, she drew closer to her own dark reality. She knew tonight would not last long and that by morning things would be very different. So she began to talk to her lover about the day they met at Mardi Gras. She had to come back to her reality and not let his magical moment take her over.
They had met when she was bartending at a local pub. He and some college buddies had come in for a drink. Merelda had served them. She and Gill had instant chemistry. They talked for most of the night while she continued to wait on the many drunken customers that drifted in and out. From that point, they were rarely seen apart. They attended church, shopped for gifts and other everyday necessities together and bought furniture for their new home. They were truly happy and everyone around them could see it.
Listening to her and hearing her relive the happy moments of their life made Gill proud. He had finally found the one that most people can only dream about. For a moment, he stopped his crusade to bed his bride and listened as she recalled their romance. Her tone during the tale soon changed. She grew distant as she began to speak of her past and where she came from. Of course she had given him some idea, but there was much more. More than the small town and private education that she had spoken of in the beginning. This time she would have a more indepth tale to tell. This tale would not end in a happy ending. She told her new groom that she was cursed and that it happened before she was born.
Gill did not understand where this was going. He wanted to stop her but she immediately interrupted him. She continued with her story.
“Mother cursed me but she did not know. You see, all off of my mother's children died young. They were either stillborns or died before birth. She was desperate to have children and none of the doctors in town knew what was wrong. She finally went to a local mystic for help. The lady, Clauadette, was known to have special potions and supposedly powers that could heal the sick and raise the dead. When my mother went to her she quickly mixed a potion. She asked her did she really want children and my mother replied that it was the one thing that meant more to her than life itself. So Claudette gave her the potion and the instructions. She had to take it at the dawn of the full moon. She would need to bed a man that night in order to conceive. But she would also have to send him on his way once the deed was done. He could not stay and he could not be there at the stroke of dawn. If he came back it would mean his ruin and her never ending suffering. My mother, so anxious quickly took the potion and listened to only the good part of the warning. She paid the woman and rushed home. The next full moon was that night. She prepared herself for the man that she would call my father.” Gill was captivated by the story. It shook him that her mother was such a woman. All he knew was that she had died a long time ago. For her to believe in such madness intrigued him but it also gave him warning. Something in his bride’s tale and tone was ferocious and forth coming. He was not sure if he wanted her to continue. He asked her to stop, but she continued on.
“My mother did as she was told. And as the moon rose and began to glow in the dark Louisiana sky she quickly swallowed the potion. It was sweet and had a peculiar twang in its end. She then dressed in her loveliest garb and headed for a local tavern. It would be her lucky night. She found a young man home from duty. He was a sailor. He was tall and strong. He had dark hair and piercing green eyes. He was creole and carried a thick french accent. My mother chose a seat at the bar and waited for him to make a move. Sure enough he offered to buy her a drink. She had been a bartender for years so she knew what she liked. It wasn’t hard for her to make conversation and men home from the sea are so easily bedded. She took him back to her home where they made love through out the night. She had completely forgotten the end of the instructions and let the young man fall asleep. The sun would rise on a horrific scene as my mother realized what a mistake she had made. The next morning she awoke to find the young man mutilated and lying next to her. She screamed as she was covered in his blood. She did not understand what had happened. She quickly jumped in the shower and went to visit Claudette. But as she opened the door to leave, Claudette was standing there. From the look in my mother’s eyes, she knew that she had not sent the man home.”
“I told you to send him on his way. You were so anxious to have that child that in your misadventure you have now cursed it. Where is the body? He must be disposed of as people will be looking for him.”
“My mother and the mystic buried his corpse deep in the garden. All evidence of the crime were burned. But there was still one more task. Claudette had to abort the pregnancy. She told my mother that there was no other way. If she did not abort the child born would be born out of blood and the need for blood. My mother would not give up her unborn child. So she and Claudette fought until only one of them was alive.”
Gill was stunned and horrified at the tale. He told her to stop immediately that he did not want to hear anymore. But she assured him that the last part was the most important.
“My mother buried Claudette next to the young sailor. And within 9 months I was born. I lived for fifteen years with no effects from the curse. But it was when I started my first period that things changed. My mother thought she had gotten away with murder but little did she know her good luck had its end. You see I was conceived from a need. The need of a daughter and blood. If she had done as she was told things would not be this way. But I cannot change the past. It is my destiny that every year I must take a mate. And on the night of consummation he must cater to my hunger.”
Gill replied, “But we have already had dinner.”
“Yes and now I need so much more.” His beautiful bride replied in such a manner that sent chills to the top of his skin. In the moonlight he could see her outline and something wasn’t right. She quickly turned to him as a burst of light entered the room and that was when he truly saw his bride. Her hands were like claws and her teeth were sharp and pointed. Her skin was dark and her eyes were a dark emerald green. But before he could scream for help, she tore through his throat ripping out veins and muscle. She pounced on him and drank from the pulsating flow. He tried to scream but all that managed to escape were empty motions from a dying mouth. He tasted his own blood as she fed on him.
For the remainder of the night she continued to feed. Before dawn she threw what was left over the balcony. The sea would claim the rest. The next morning, there was a knock on the door. The maid entered and upon seeing the blood soaked linens went straight to work. She and her daughter prepared their story and removed all evidence. The authorities believed the distraught new bride and her loss of her husband to a misguided need for an early swim. The current dragged him out and every sea creature known to man had nibbled on his corpse. For now, Merelda was appeased and the family curse would sleep. But it could not stay this way. They only had a year.