**Some fun creative writing here; written as a Live Action Role Play (LARP) character background but I got some great feedback on it from friends and have kept it. I plan on expanding her story some day. Oh, and her voice is a combination of French and New Orleans accent. Very feminine.
I am Tallulah Boudreaux, known to all as Miss Tallulah. I was born in Chicapen Parish in Louisiana in 1802 on January 14. I am 212 years young. The small place where my mother gave birth didn’t have a name, it was a slave town. I am the daughter of a slave (mama’s name was Isabel) and a white man (daddy’s name was Royce Boudreaux). While my daddy didn’t officially recognize me as his when I was younger, he did take care to hire a tutor so I could be educated in a proper fashion. I kept in contact with daddy through letters. He would visit me when he was in the city for business. It was then that he spoiled me something terrible and we got to be a family. During the war of 1812, he hid mamma and I so we would not be harmed; a family friend hid us in his home which was in the northern part of the territory. Remember, it wasn’t Louisiana as we know it quite yet.
When we were together, he taught me about many things but most especially the arts. I could sing and write poetry. As I got older, we would travel and I was his “secretary”. We went all over the world together. We were in Rome when mama passed on from influenza, I was 18, and she was 36. After mama passed on, daddy finally gave me his last name and I became a full Boudreaux.
We continued to travel all over the place for his business; he always kept me by his side. In time, I found myself yearning to travel alone. I asked him if I could go to Vienna alone. It took me several weeks to cajole him but finally he surrendered. I left for Vienna on June 1, 1827; I was 25.
I found myself in a world of art, literature and music the likes of which no one has heard these days. It was in Vienna that I was Embraced.
I found a salon for poets in a little café and went every week with my writings. I was the only American there and they loved my descriptions of New Orleans and the Deep South. No one had been there so I had a rapt audience. One day this man appeared and sat in the back of the room. My eyes were drawn to him immediately. He was tall, about 6 feet. Dark wavy hair, well-trimmed beard and mustache. Dark eyes that you could get lost in. When it came my time to recite my latest work, I became nervous. That was strange as I had not been nervous in previous readings but he had never been there before either. I stood up and went to the front of the room. I looked out over the familiar faces and found him looking at me as though he could see into the very heart of me. I had to look away so I could speak. I found myself looking out the window as I recited my poem.
Once I was done I looked back over the group and he was still looking at me as everyone applauded. He had a large smile on his face as he clapped. I went back to my seat and took a large drink of my tea. As I relaxed, I felt a sensation behind me as though someone has tickled my back. I looked around but there was no one there. I looked for the man but he too, was gone.
I saw him again the following week and for the next few as well. He always sat in the same place and always left after I had recited. In the 2nd month, he finally made his approach. I found a rose and a note inviting me to dinner the next night at my table. He told me where to meet him and at what time. He even told me what kind of dress I should wear. It was signed Eric Van Stetton. I couldn’t help but smile and be excited.
I met him the next night and it was one of the most magical nights of my life. He was so smart and funny. He listened to what I had to say and found me interesting. No man other than my daddy had ever found me that interesting. He loved my southern accent; said that he could almost see the Spanish moss hanging from the trees when I talked. I found myself drawn to him more and more. But my time in Vienna was coming to a close and I told him that it was time for me to leave and go back to my daddy.
Eric took this news with seriousness; he told me that he would go with me as he wanted to meet my father. Down inside I took this news with joy as this might mean he wished to marry me! He told me that he would have to travel separately as he had some errands to run on the way to Rome where daddy was to meet me. I had grown up with my father traveling for business and so took no notice of Eric’s travel request.
We met my father in Rome at a lovely restaurant. Daddy wasn’t sure of this man who had spent so much time with his little girl. However, Eric was able to charm my father in a way I had never seen before. By the end of the evening, they were the best of friends and daddy was more than fine about me being with Eric. I was completely shocked by the entire evening.
We spent the next 2 weeks in Rome having the best time together. We spent my 26th birthday walking along the ruins of the Coliseum and Palatine Hill. I found out Eric had knowledge of history unlike anyone I had known. He made it so personal and had stories to tell. He told us they were family stories, passed down through the generations.
The time came when daddy had to go back to the states and he asked if I wanted to go with him. Eric had already expressed an interest in me going back to Vienna with him. I told daddy I wanted to stay in Vienna. He understood! I could not believe my ears but I was glad he was accepted this. He had never been approving of other men in my life until Eric. Somewhere inside me, my instinct was telling me that something was different with this situation. I played it off however and attributed it to nerves.
Now mind you, I had not seen Eric during the daytime. Those were his work hours. We got together usually at dusk. I never took this as anything unusual.
We saw my father off and left for Vienna the day after. Eric usually stayed with friends while he was there; his actual home was just outside of the city. This is where he took me; his family estate. Once there, my life would change forever.
I lived with Eric but we stayed in separate rooms. There was no sexual intimacy or kissing at first. Eric wanted me to be comfortable living there. He taught me so many things about history, art, music, and dance. We went to everything we could. We ate out and at home. His chef was astounding and I tried very hard to not gain weight. We walked all over the grounds of the estate but only at night. I walked alone during the day. It was a beautiful estate, the mountains were so clear you could almost touch them. When I saw the movie “The Sound of Music” and the land where they lived, it reminded me of Eric’s home.
At Christmas that year, Eric surprised me by sending for my father to spend the holiday with us. It was a joyous occasion and he loved Vienna. On Christmas Eve, Eric proposed to me by the Christmas tree. I wept with joy and said yes. Daddy was very happy to have a son-in-law. Daddy actually spent 3 more weeks with us than originally planned. He spent the time teaching Eric about his various businesses; I knew daddy didn’t trust his relatives to keep up on running things once he passed. It was a relief to me that he trusted Eric with this knowledge.
I loved Eric, he was everything I had hoped for and we planned for a fall wedding. Daddy would come back in late summer to help finalize the arrangements.
Until the wedding, Eric and I spent more time together and we grew more intimate, although we did not sleep together. I began to meet more of his friends and remaining family members. Again, we only saw these people in his off work hours, which meant at night. This is when I began to wonder if I was the only one in this crowd who would be out and about during the daytime.
Our wedding day was on the Autumnal Equinox that year, September 20. It was a beautiful affair, held at night at a lakeside resort. There were candles and torches everywhere and it looked ethereal. I wore this lovely dress designed by one of Eric’s friends, her name was Sara. It had little silver beads everywhere that reflected the light so I sparkled. My hair was in a braid with flowers woven throughout.
We danced and celebrated into the early morning hours. Both of us were so tired that we decided to forgo the traditional wedding night and just sleep. We were staying at the resort for a few days so we had time.
Our relationship took on the marriage intimacy the next day and we made love for what seemed like hours. I never imagined it could be that way, it felt like we were meshed together as one soul. It was magical.
When we arrived back home, Eric had to leave for a few days but I had no problems with that. I was so happy I didn’t think about anything else except to learn how to run our home in the best way possible. He asked the Chef and Housekeeper (Helga and Margaret) to show me how things were done and what I needed to be aware of. They had both been with Eric since his youth so I was in capable hands.
Once Eric was back, he seemed rather quiet and not his usual self. I asked what was wrong and he looked at me with sad eyes and would say nothing. He reached out to hold me and we sat that way for a long time. Eventually he said he had to tell me something but he didn’t know how to say it. I assured him that nothing he told me would change my feelings for him. Of course, I didn’t know what I was talking about. I had no idea what was to come.
The following night, he told me to meet him in the library after dinner. He was bringing a friend with him to help in this discussion. I began to get a little nervous. I couldn’t know how much my life would change after this conversation.
Eric and his friend Markus met me in the library. I was sitting by the fireplace staring into the flames. I prayed that we could handle whatever was coming. They sat opposite me and we were silent for a few minutes. Eric spoke first.
(Quoting here) “Tula, please know I love you and would never wish to harm you or change what we have in any way. I promised that I would not lie to you when we married and I have spoken to several of my friends about this and we all agreed that, in this case, truth is best. (Pause) Have you ever wondered why we never see each other during the daylight hours? (I replied, ‘not really, I thought it was your work.’) He smiled, took a breath and continued- “My love, I have never met one such as you and I want us to be together always. You understand me as no one ever has and I treasure that more than you know. (Pause) I am not a human being as you know them. I am a creature of the night….a vampire. I am over 200 years old.”
At this point I thought he was mad! I didn’t know what to do, but I kept looking into his eyes and all I saw was truth there. He had never told me anything like this before. I was frightened but I loved him so I stayed to hear him out. He told me how he had been Embraced; I remember thinking that was a lovely word for such a horrible process. He finished with his story and then looked at the floor. I looked at Markus: “You know about this?”
“Are you one as well?”
“Am I in danger here?”
“No. If you choose to leave, Eric will not stop you. He will even grant you dissolution of the marriage at his fault, not yours. He will make sure you are in good hands and have no need of monies. We, his family, have all agreed to this. We do not make this decision lightly but he loves you very much and could not be with you without you knowing the truth.”
I was shaking all over. I didn’t know if I was losing my mind or if they had.
“How do I know this isn’t all just some terrible joke at my expense? What proof do you have of this?” I asked.
Markus and Eric looked at each other for a moment. Eric said “We can show you something but please promise to hold yourself together. It might scare you and we do not wish to but you need proof.”
With that, both men looked at me and opened their mouths to show their teeth. Nothing happened at first but then I saw the canine teeth elongate and become fangs. I blinked and rubbed my eyes to make sure I was seeing correctly.
“May I feel them to make sure you are not hypnotizing me in some fashion?”
“Yes, but make sure you do not cut yourself, they are very sharp” replied Markus.
I walked over to them and felt the long teeth. They were real. A flash of warmth sped over me and then blackness. I awoke to find myself on the sofa with a cool cloth on my head. My maid, Mary, was by my side. She told me that Eric and Markus placed me on the sofa and rang for her. They left as soon as she was with me. She had a note for me. It read:
‘My love, I did not mean to scare you so much. Markus and I have left the city to stay at his home in the country. Please know this is not a permanent arrangement, it is to give you time to think about us. As a vampire, I am immortal. I drink blood. I must live at night. I realize there are questions you will have; please contact Augustus (yes, he is one of us and our leader), he will answer them. If you choose to leave this marriage, I will not fight you. But if you choose to stay, which I pray you do, there is a way for us to be together always. Augustus will have that information for you. He has a way of contacting me when you are ready to speak to me. I love you so much my darling! I wish I could hold you now but I fear you are not ready. Take as much time as you need, I love you.’
My head was spinning after I read the letter. What was once a fictional world was suddenly very real and I was in the middle of it. I had no idea what to do. I needed to think and to speak to Augustus.
I will forward the story here to say that I took several months to think and over that time I had numerous discussions with Augustus. There was so much to learn and I could only take it in small doses. But he was so patient with me, he told me that no human knew as much as I did but Eric trusted me and so the family did as well. What I could not admit was that I feared speaking of this to anyone else lest they think me a madwoman and lock me away forever.
The time finally came when I was ready to not only speak to Eric but to see him as well. I asked Augustus to send for him. I understood now why he gave me so much time. I also knew that he truly did love me a great deal to tell me such truth.
Eric came to our home a few days after Augustus sent for him; it was 2 days before the New Year. I was waiting in the library where we had last spoken. He looked worried and nervous. I smiled at him and walked over to where he stood in the doorway.
“Hello Eric. Please come in and sit down. I have missed you so very much and we have much to discuss.” I took his hand and we walked to the sofa.
Halfway there he stopped and took me into his arms. He held me so tight and close it took a minute before I realized he was weeping. I whispered into his ear “please my love, don’t cry. Everything is going to be fine. Let’s talk by the fire.”
We sat and looked at each other. His tears left red-steak marks on his cheeks. Augustus had told me of this so I was not surprised. I wiped his face with my handkerchief. He smiled at my touch. Tears filled his eyes.
“I’m so happy to see you again my love” he said. “I didn’t know if I would ever see you again. I have been in hearts agony but I knew you had to think about this before we could go on or separate. You have talked with Augustus?”
“Yes, and he has told me everything.”
Eric looked surprised at this, and then he smiled. “I should have known that your curiosity and steady head would prevail. You are not like other women. That’s why I love you so.”
“I admit to being frightened about it all. I have gone from vampires being a fantasy horror story to being real. Augustus was patient with me and I took the information in small doses so I could think it out. He also told me how we could always be together.”
At this, Eric took in a breath and waited.
“Yes, my love. I want to be with you forever. I have asked Augustus to Embrace me on my birthday; January 14. He suggested that it be him so that, if I ever came to resent it or one of us is killed, it would not affect us.”
Eric took me into his arms and we kissed. It had been so long and my heart was filled with love and longing. I had struggled with this decision but I had no other family to turn to other than my father. Daddy was getting on and he would not have to know.
We celebrated the New Year together and opened our home to what was going to be my new family. What a strange and wondrous group of people they were! Many had lived for so long and had seen so much history; it was quite fascinating to talk to them. They knew that I had willingly chosen to be Embraced and they were very happy for us.
Because I was doing this so openly, a special ritual was being planned for me. It would be my birthday and deathday. It felt strange to plan it that way and as time got closer, I grew more nervous but our love strengthened me. Augustus reassured me that there would be no pain, that in fact it would be most pleasurable. I asked Eric if he would be all right with this; “My dear, it is just once that I will allow you to have pleasure in the arms of another man and for this purpose, I am fine.”
While plans were being made and the days flew by, Eric and I enjoyed our life together. He encouraged me to spend as much time in the daylight as I could before the Embrace. I went everywhere I could. I watched sunrises and sunsets every day so I could carry the memory of them in my mind.
Finally the day arrived. I spent my last day in town getting my hair done, a new dress and shoes. I had lunch with some non-vampire friends (I had told them I was going away with Eric as he had been transferred to Asia). I walked along the lake by our house and watched my last sunset. I wept for so many reasons. I had already begun to die.
That night, it was Eric, myself and Augustus in our bedroom where I would be Embraced. The rest of the family waited downstairs. I didn’t feel comfortable with everyone watching. I was anxious.
“Are you truly ready Tula? Once done, there is no going back” asked Eric.
“Yes, I am ready. I want to be with you Eric. I have come to know your kind and to love them. I know there are difficulties and dangers, Augustus made sure I knew all the dangers of this choice.” I was shaking but firm in my resolve.
Eric and I held each other and kissed. Augustus said “It is time Tula. Sit on the bed for me.”
I sat down; glad my legs didn’t have to support me anymore. Augustus sat next to me and hugged me. I loved this friend dearly and I relaxed in his arms.
“Tula, when you are ready, look into my eyes. Let yourself relax and open your mind to me. It will be easier if you let me in. I will go as slow as I can so you can adjust and relax. Know that I am your friend and you do this of your own free will.”
I took a deep breath and turned my head to look into his eyes. Normally his eyes were a deep brown but now they were black. I saw nothing to cause fear there. This was my friend and I let him in.
Slowly I felt something moving in my mind; what a strange sensation that was. Almost as though someone was re-arranging my thoughts and I had no control. I heard his voice in my head telling me to stay calm and let go of any fear. I felt like I was floating and it was wonderful! I could feel his arms lift me onto the bed and lay me down. His mind spoke love and friendship and I let him guide me.
Suddenly I felt a sharp pain on the left side of my neck and his mouth upon it! I almost panicked but he calmed me instantly and I relaxed. As his mouth stayed upon me and I died, I felt a wave of sensuousness come over me. My body shuddered and I felt lifted up with waves of intense pleasure flooding my consciousness. Then it was blackness.
From a faraway point, I felt Augustus call to me and to follow his voice back. He kept talking to me and I felt heavy, my body was sluggish. He lifted me up and moved my head so that my mouth could cover a cut on his chest. As soon as I felt his flesh under my mouth, he told me to drink. I drank into myself the blood of ages past. I saw memories of his life flooding my mind. We shared his past as I drank. I have no idea how much time passed but I was laid down again on the bed and he told me that now my body must die and be reborn. He and Eric would stay with me.
This was the part I had feared the most; consciously dying. I felt my body shudder and shake, I felt out of control. The men at my side spoke words of comfort and support to me, each held a hand. My mind went wild as my body died. Again there was blackness.
I awoke suddenly and opened my eyes. I saw the ceiling of my room. I felt the bed underneath me but the sensation was different. I could feel every thread of the blanket under me. I ran my hands over it and could almost count each individual stitch. I smelled fireplace smoke; the wood was oak and smelled sweet. The noise of the fire was so loud to my ears. All of my senses were more than before. I didn’t see Eric or Augustus in the room; but as soon as I thought of them I knew where they were. They were in the library with everyone else. Waiting for me.
I saw Eric in my mind, he stood by the fireplace. When I focused on him, he turned his head towards the bedroom and said “She’s awake!” He smiled. I realized then it wasn’t the fireplace in my room I had heard and smelled, it was the one in the library.
Eric ran from the room and came to me. I was sitting on the edge of the bed smiling at him. My love for him had not changed; in fact, it felt as though I loved him more. I could feel his relief that I had passed through death and re-birth and was fine. He grabbed me and took me into his arms and we held each other for what seemed like forever. I knew all would be fine from now on.
After some time had passed, I told him that we had to go downstairs and be with the others. However, I did not do this with my mouth; I simply thought it and he heard me. Augustus told me that sometimes this could happen with those who were so very close as Eric and I were. We went downstairs to celebrate with our family.
Now that I was part of the family, Augustus continued to teach me the ways of living as Vampire. He told me that we were Toreador clan and our history. He told me of the other clans and what history he knew of them. As I was new, I was somewhat weaker than the others and so had to feed every day. I learned that many vampires had what they called “herds”; people who loved being around vampires and were willing to be fed on. This was the only fact that bothered me at first. I had to wonder about someone who would go to those lengths to be around such as we but didn’t wish to be Embraced. But I have also learned in my many years that it does indeed take all kinds to make the world go around.
My daddy passed away about 8 months after I was Embraced. Eric and I arranged a passage to New Orleans so I could attend his funeral. We told my family that I had acquired a skin allergy to the sun and so the funeral would have to be at night. It was August and the south was humid and hot. Eric had never been there and so we stayed for some time exploring the area. Daddy had left the businesses to us and the plantation to the rest of the family. It was the only way to keep everyone happy. None of them had a head for business anyway. I had to promise though to take care of anyone who needed help and was deserving of such. Daddy had no stomach for the lazy and so such requests would need to be verified.
The New Orleans area was experiencing serious growth in a variety of businesses and so Eric decided that we should stay for a while and see what monies could be made here. Our vampire family, (there were 12 of us now), invested in businesses and other lucrative deals together and they had made quite a fortune over the centuries. None of us had to actually work but the world was changing rapidly and so all of us had to be on top of things to make sure we kept what monies we had and to continue growth in that area. The fact that I now controlled my daddy’s businesses was kind of a dowry that I brought and this made everyone happy. We also invested in the arts quite heavily; we supported artists, musicians, dancers, painters, writers, poets and anyone who we felt had a statement to make.
Our life in New Orleans was an adventure for some years until news came to us of trouble brewing in Europe. This was in late 1913 and there was quiet talk of political trouble brewing. When the war finally came, the family sent word for Eric to return to help them move various people and artistic valuables to safer locations. Vienna was in the middle of things and all hands were needed. I was to remain in the States as items could come to me for safekeeping. I had several homes we could use. I had no inkling that when Eric left, it would be the last time we saw each other.
Eric left me in November 1914. I felt him die 2 months later. I received word that he and some other family members had been sleeping in an abandoned home in the country. During a skirmish, a bomb tore the home apart and all those within. I was devastated. We had spent 86 years together and it wasn’t enough. Now there were only 6 family members remaining. Augustus was bringing them to the States. Europe was not safe anymore. There was too much destruction. I opened my home to my family.
Several days after I had gotten word of Eric’s death, I received a letter from him. He had sent it while on the ship. I was afraid to open it; his last words to me were here.
It read: Greetings from the middle of the ocean my love! I’m sitting on the deck looking at the stars and missing you terribly. I hate leaving you but we both know our family possessions must be kept safe as well as the family itself. I have no idea what I will find once I arrive but it’s sure to be terrible. War is always terrible. So much upheaval and destruction. While I am away, please keep yourself busy. Learn those things you have always wished to learn. Play the piano, sing, write, and learn the flute. Stay active; don’t let yourself fall into a life of darkness and non-use. So many vampires fall into a life of laziness and languor. That is not for you! Use the gifts you have been given. Help humanity to better itself. I love you so much and will always be at your side. Your husband forever, Eric.
I wept for hours after reading this. My beloved was gone! I felt lost and without a direction for the first time in my life. I didn’t fall very far into despair however. My daddy had placed in me an ethic early on that laziness was a sin and one had to be part of things in order to make life better. I had a family coming that needed me and all of us had lost loved ones. Augustus was counting on me to prepare a new home for them.
My family loved the south and we flourished there for many years until hurricane Camille in 1969. We decided we had had enough of the damp, dangerous weather and we voted to move again. But where would we go? Europe was not for us; too many superstitions and it was getting more difficult to hide. One had to go to a more underdeveloped country to truly “disappear” as we wished.
I had among my smaller business holdings a company in Denver, Colorado. It was a newspaper called “The Rocky Mountain News”. Of course, no one actually knew who ran all the families companies; we had people who were the human face of the business. Most of them were descendants of people who had worked for us for hundreds of years and we treated them well. They were sworn to be loyal and discrete about things. If someone breaks the oath, death is the result. Plain and simple. We do not tolerate traitors in our midst.
We moved to Colorado in the spring of 1970. Denver was not quite a city yet and we were able to establish a modest home in the mountains in the Genesee area at first. Once we were more established, some family members got their own homes in the city. I currently live in the penthouse at the corner of Laurence and 14th; near the Denver Center Theater Complex. I own the entire top floor and have a secured entryway. My family lives all over town but we are still very close. We see each other often and entertain at least once a week.
We are artists of all kinds and we still support the arts in other vampires and humans. We have those whose artistic ability is to maintain our finances and they do so with great aplomb. I miss my Eric to this day but I live my life as he wished. I learned all that I wanted to and more. I love the gift he gave me so long ago.
Age 25 in 1827
Arrive in Vienna June 1827
Rome in 1828 with Eric and daddy
Eric proposed Christmas 1828
Marriage Sept 20 1829
Eric tells me he is a vampire in Oct 1829
I bring Eric home Dec 1829
I am Embraced Jan 14, 1830