“What about all the mirrors?” I challenged playfully as the flow of the dance brought us past our own reflections. The walls of the ballroom were beautifully adorned with numerous extravagant, towering mirrors, reflecting the my own overwhelmingly joyous expression, through my filigree mask, over Levi’s shoulder back to me. His own phantom style mask was far simpler than most of the masks here, it’s elegance complimenting his own naturally handsome face perfectly. He smiled at me and my question with, what I suspect was an impressed look.
“Superstition,” was his answer before leading us confidently through the turn, “The secret of which lies in the process of their manufacture. A hundred years, or thereabouts, ago, mirrors were made with a silver base, nowadays however, aluminium has become the most common metallic coating”

He brought us around in line with the other couples, we then separated and in practiced synchronicity bowed together with the final chords of the song. A brief round of applause from the onlookers filled the room before giving way to the dull roar of socialising and the more modern beat of the replacement background music that emerged from the speakers as the orchestra gradually packed their instruments and exited the stage. I giggled in excitement, smiling and applauding along with everyone before rushing over to Levi’s side, taking his hand in mine while pulling myself closely to his side and hugging his arm tightly. Sighing in relaxed contentment, I looked up to meet his gaze. He was watching me with a bemused expression soft with fondness.

“Should we see if we can find the others now?”

I pout, hoping the expression was cute and pulled his arm tighter into my embrace, protectively holding him against my waist in protest, “But you were just telling me about your theories!”

“Wouldn’t it be frightfully selfish of me to keep your company all to myself?”

He caught me with a mocking expression of aghast horror as if the thought of such dreadful rudeness was unimaginable and prompted another giggle fit. Then suddenly I switched to an equally mocking expression of deadly severity and haughtiness and replied, “Perhaps, but they’ll just have to forgive you this time.”
His light heady laugh makes me blush happily, then looking down at me with his gentle protective smile, his aura of warmth gave me a sense of being both wanted and safe. Following the flow of bodies we moved to the edge of the dance floor, making space for the modern dancers filling the void we had left with new energy and life. I found the snacks table quickly and took pains to eat delicately to preserve not only my makeup but also Levi’s, hopefully, cultured impression of me.
I marvelled at the effortless manner with which he blended in amongst the air of high society. None of the slightly self-conscious embarrassment that so many others here were clearly displaying, and I was certainly feeling, but he stood so confidently above it all such that it felt like he had been attending events like this all his life instead of being his first as he had said before.

“What’s the matter?”

With his question suddenly I realised I had been staring, “Nothing, I was just admiring how at ease you seem here, when you told me you’d never been to a ball I thought I’d be the one confidently showing you around, not the other way around.”
Sheepishly he grins back at me, “It was the dancing, I think. All those lessons we took made me so familiar with the steps that when we danced, it kind of felt old hat, you know?”
I nodded in understanding. Tonight was a university ball and as members of the ballroom dance society, we had performed a number of court style social group dances. It’s was through this club that Levi and I had met originally, we had both joined to meet new people and get some exercise in a more fun way than going to the gym. We had instantly clicked and I’d ended up asking him out after the first lesson we’d met. I’ll never forget his expression, a mixture of surprise and bashfulness, he was so adorable. I took him to dinner and a movie, I could tell he’d never been taken on a date by a girl before and I loved turning the tables on his expectations all night. We’d been together for almost a year now and he still managed to surprise me with his imagination.

“So, you were telling me that you thought Vampires were real?” I asked, seamlessly switching the topic of conversation back.
“I didn’t say they were real,” he replied in the way he always did when I teased him, “I said, imagine they were real. You’d never know”

“Because of aluminium mirrors?” I laughed, still teasing, but he ignored that and answered me earnestly,
“Amongst other things, see Vampires, like dragons, have existed across almost every culture with constantly changing stories.”

“Don’t get started on Dragons again Levi”

“Tease me all you like, I never said it was true, obviously legends are just that, legends. But imagine these legends were based in truth. Nature has plenty of parasitic, blending species already, the Mouthbrooder and Cuckoo catfish for example. The possibility of a parasitic human-like species like Neanderthal that never went extinct, isn’t completely impossible.”

I always loved listening to him when he got worked up by one of his theories, and I could feel his excitement mounting in his voice. Watching the cogs working in his mind to fit the fantastical into the natural, his intoxicating enthusiasm was utterly captivating.

“Say a small group of people developed a culture of cannibalism. Hunting exclusively during the night, drinking the blood of their victims. Millennia pass and they’ve evolved better suited to nocturnal living and sustaining on human blood. They’d be like loving shepherds with a vested interest in human prosperity blending in amongst us.”

“So you’re saying they could be any of us, even you or me”

His bottomless eyes twinkled as he smiled, revealing his perfect white teeth to me, “Now you’re getting it”

Author: Zairron

I'm writing to build a habit, practice, and be creative.

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