Monday, September 6, 2010
(Whitechapel, London~ 1855) Meeting Bessie (Alessandra)
Having perfect vision in the dark, did prove to be useful sometimes of course. There were certain aspects of being a vampire that I did appreciate and this was one of them. Especially in the dim gaslight streets of White Chapel. Where I found myself, wandering aimlessly around. Whitechapel often reminded me of Rome at times. Well, of Rome’s worst areas anyway. The stench was over whelming. And even though it was far past midnight people still seemed to be crammed in the narrow streets. Somewhere making love in a back alley, others selling illegal things. Still others were doing Gods know what. Yet there were also those people who had no were to go and were sleeping on the streets. Little did any of these humans realize that a vampire was walking amongst them. They had no idea that each of their lives were in danger just by their mere existence.
I carefully, once again, found myself walking around the humans, staying mostly hidden in the shadows provided by the darkness that the night sky brought and the dimness that the gas lights brought. My dark cloak, made it easy to blend in. And, after the episode with the three stinky men, I found that I was getting even more annoyed with the East End of London. How dare those men try and attack me. Me! Alessandra di Sismondi in the middle of a street. I growled, and kicked at a tin can that went flying down the street.
Right in front of a small child who should have been asleep. But instead was out wandering the streets just as I. The child frowned and glared at me. Bent down and picked up the old, rotten tin can. I sighed as I drew closer to it. Or her rather. Her hair was filthy and matted down. She had not had a bath in months, and her clothes were in worse shape than she was.
“Why did you kick the tin Miss?” She asked me in some strange cockney accent, I once again had a hard time deciphering. Didn’t these people speak English?
“I kicked the tin can because I was annoyed.” I said quietly, trying not to frighten the poor thing.
“Why were you annoyed?” Typical. Children always seemed to ask a million questions and I braced myself. The stench coming from the poor thing was just as overwhelming as the gentlemen, not the rats who tried to rape me.
“Men.” I said simply and the child nodded her head.
“They’re nasty creatures. That’s what Momma used to say.”
“Used too?”I asked curiously. The child nodded.
“She was found dead.” The girl shrugged.
“Oh I’m so sorry.”
“Why? It wasn’t like she was ever around anyway? Left me to fend for myself you see.”
“So you don’t have a place to stay?” I asked.
“Nah, I sleep on the street, or in a crate when I can find an abanded one.” I blinked. Never having been homeless myself or left on the streets to fend for myself, I could not possibly image what this child must be going through. So, I quietly came down to the girl’s level. She defiantly did not smell good enough to eat. None of the people here did. I supposed that was due to the stench that I found repulsive and was not able to get used too. No matter how I tried too. If she noticed the red in my eyes, she didn’t say anything.
“ When was the last time you had something to eat?”I asked.
“ I had a biscuit I stole from the bakery yesterday.” She responded proudly.
“And before that?” She shrugged. “What’s your name?”I asked now.
“Elizabeth. But me friends call me Bessie.”
“Well Bessie, how would you like to come with me and have a bite to eat?”I asked standing up, and checking my reticule. Yes the coins were still there. I could feed the child and clothe her, take care of her, possibly even send her to a decent school. On Aro’s money. I grinned at the mere thought of taking care of a human orphaned street rat on my master’s money.
“Oh, but that would be charity miss.”
“Not charity at all. You could repay me by…. By…”I frowned, trying to come up with something for the child to do for me. Something that wasn’t too outlandish. I was a young woman in the streets alone. Or so I appeared to be. There, she could be a chaperone of sorts. I wasn’t sure how this would look. But at least, I wouldn’t appear to be alone. Of course there was always the thought that I could easily take her as a snack. But I was certain that I could control myself. At least in her presence. I had been around long enough to resist the desire to attack the poor thing. “You could be my chaperone. I suppose, like a companion. Would you like that? And in return, I’ll buy you nice dresses, and make sure you get a place to sleep and eat.”I added.
“But what happens when you leave? You aren’t from England, I can tell. Shall I go with you?”
“No, that would not be a good idea. I’ll put you in a boarding school if you like.”I said. “Or you could come with me, and I’ll place you some place in Italy.”
“Yes, that’s where I am from.”
“If I don’t like it, I can leave?”
“Of course, you are not a slave, or a servant.”
“Alright, you got yourself a bargain.” The child, then, Bessie that was her name, placed her grubby hand into my gloved one. It had been a long time since I had felt the hand of a child in my own, and I found myself being suddenly reminded of my sister. I sucked in my breath. “Are you alright Miss?” Bessie asked.
“Quite.”I said smiling down at her gently. “My name is Alessandra.” I said added. Well, I never imaged that I would become a babysitter.