The First

Life isn't too bad when you're an adopted child living in Seoul, South Korea surrounded by people who all look the same. Only when you are a British, adopted child living in Seoul, South Korea surrounded by people who all look the same (except for you!), does life get bad. Of course, being obsessed with fantasy and daydreaming tones down the "suck-factor" of the entire situation, since when you're a "fiction-freak" like me you tend to daydream...a lot!

By now, the average person would have deduced that this scenario pertains to me, so I'm just going to assume that you have too. My name is Kalin Nightingale. A strange name, I know. But it's my name none the less and I've learned to live with it. Bottom line? I can't change it, so there's no use in fretting over it. Like the French say, "That's life". However, it is a pain strutting around Seoul with blond hair (that has a slightly spiky style to it) and blue eyes and a Korean accent. "A Brit with a Korean accent". That's what everyone at school calls me, even though I was adopted as a baby and have lived here all my life.

I'm sixteen (fifteen in Western years), average height (about five-five, five-six), and I just finished middle school. Safe to say I barely made it with mostly B's and C's. I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, but, hey, I can pull my own weight most of the time. Am I a victim of bullying? Yeah, sure. Do I care what others think of me? No, not really. Not as long as I have my beloved fantasy books to help me ignore all of the other students' crap. Although, that's what gets me into trouble most of the time (i.e. reading in class).

Overall, my life is pretty boring. Especially since I'm into the whole fantasy-fiction, monsters and ghouls thing. I live for excitement. But it doesn't help when nothing interesting happens in my life.

That is, until today.

Today, a Sunday afternoon, I was walking home from my favorite bookstore (buying fantasy books, of course) when, out of nowhere, two older, yet young-looking females appeared in front of me. They were slim and slender with deathly pale skin and long flowing black hair. Their eyes were a glowing auburn and gold and seemed to pierce through the air and into my mind, into my heart. They were dressed like they were going to a cosplay convention. They wore knee-high black boots, black boot-cut pants, white blouses with cuffs and collars that matched their skin tone, long black coats, and thick, black, hooded cloaks held together by large, silver-blue gems at the base of their necks. They definitely were real and right in front of me.

I was about to open my mouth and say something smart and cocky like, "Nice costumes. Is it Halloween already?" or "Hey, where's the convention? Can I come? I just need to get my warlock's costume from home," when they hissed and snarled at me, baring four white, inch-long incisors and charged at me.

"Shit!" I swore while turning and making a run for it.

Thank god I was in a more rural area of Seoul, because if someone were to see me dashing down the the street, holding a bag full of fantasy novels and running from two Gothic-looking women with fangs, I would have been admitted into an asylum.

I was pretty athletic. I played soccer and basketball and knew Taekwondo. I could run pretty fast, but these chicks were like cross-country track stars! I was running as fast as I possibly could and they were right on my tail and not even breaking a sweat. Me on the other hand, my lungs were burning and the muscles in my legs ached. I would definitely get Charlie Horses later. I drifted around a corner and down an alleyway, almost crashing into the right wall in the process. They swiftly followed me down the shaded corridors and made a left, then another left, and then a right. Still, they kept up with me.

I spotted a fire escape on an apartment building and flew up it to the roof. I was hoping that the rooftops would be connected together, but once I got up there and to the edge of the building I saw that it was at least a twenty foot leap to the next rooftop. I turned around only to find that the two women were right behind me. They stood upright and proper with smug looks on their faces that had “Got ya now!” written all over them. They weren’t even breathing hard.

By now I was thinking something like, “What the hell are these broads?!” I had an idea of what, but that didn’t mean that I was going to admit it. Reality and fantasy were meant to be separate and I wasn’t going to ruin that experience with one simple idea that they were, in fact, not separate.

So I decided to talk myself out of this insane situation.

“Alright, so maybe we can just, you know, talk this out. Whatever is was that I did, I’m sorry, it won’t happen again, I promise. So if you gals could just let me go that would be-”

And then one of them lunged at me.

Instinctively, I ducked. The woman sailed over me and over to the next building. However, she didn’t have enough air and crashed into the edge of the building, then fell down a full five stories and sliced her back on a sharp, rod-looking thing sticking out of a dumpster. The woman landed on her stomach wailing and hissing in pain. She reared her head, bared her fangs, and was incinerated on the spot.

“Holy shit!” I swore again, stumbling back.

Then, I was tackled to the ground by the second one. She flipped me over and pinned me to the ground with my hands above my head. She sneered at me and lowered her head down until her small, thin nose was only an inch or so away from my own. Adrenaline coursed through my veins and my muscles bunched together. I was helpless underneath her iron grip. I did the only thing I could think of to do and screamed my lungs out. I yelled and squirmed trying futilely to free myself from her. Then, I caught sight of her golden-auburn eyes and stopped the entire racket instantly. I panted exhaustedly as I stared up into her eyes. She closed the distance between my face and hers and placed her thin, pinkish lips on mine. I went brain dead from shock, exhaustion, and lack of will and resolve. Once she was finished with my lips she moved down my jaw to my neck. She kissed and nipped at my soft flesh, flicking her tongue across it from time to time as though she wanted to taste me like one would taste a new flavor of ice cream. Strangely, I was completely calm as she did all of this.

At least, until she sunk her incisors into my jugular.

I couldn’t scream like I wanted to. All I could do is gasp and tense up as she drew blood from my veins. Then, suddenly, she stopped. She released her grasp on my neck and rose up. She clutched her heart with one hand and her throat with another. She snarled and cried out like she had been poisoned and, just like the other, burst into flames, scattering dark ashes across my legs and rooftop.

I whirled around and scrambled away from the pile of ash, then collapsed on all fours and clutched my bleeding neck.

I’m gonna die! I yelled in my head. I’m gonna die if I don’t stop bleeding! Oh god, please stop! I don’t wanna die like this!!!

Unexpectedly, I felt a slight twinge in my neck where the woman had bitten me, like the skin around my neck was pulling over the wound. When it stopped I pulled my hands away cautiously and looked at them. They were bloody and dirty. I used the back of my right hand, which was clean and swiped it across my neck. There was no blood. The bleeding had stopped miraculously. By that time, I was scared out of my wits.

I bolted up, grabbed my bag filled with books, and made a mad dash for home.

When I got home, I sneaked around to the backyard and washed the blood off of my hands and face. Then I went back around to the front and walked through the door. My dad, KimLee Sungkyun, was sitting on the couch reading a news paper. My mom, KimLee Yunna, was getting ready to make dinner. I raced up the stairs before they could say anything. Of course, they knew all too well of my fantasy obsession and just let me be. I changed my clothes and threw the ones I had on before in the hamper. I flopped down on my bed, clutching my new books to my chest and repeatedly thought to myself “That didn’t happen. That didn’t happen. Things like that only happen in fantasies. That did not happen.”

And yet, there was a part of me that couldn’t deny that it had in fact happened. That same part of me was on edge just thinking about it.
Kalin Nightingale, the fantasy freak, was attacked by two, bloodthirsty vampire chicks.

Tell me why I knew that wasn’t a good sign but didn’t give rat’s ass if it was or not. My life was about to get much more exciting, and I didn’t even know it…