Gillian’s an odd one. I like to think of her as an embryonic demon. That’s what she is. All vampires are destined to become demons and most of them already are. When they go through their first death their souls are judged and sent to Hell. (Show me someone who hasn’t sinned without absolution and I’ll show you a liar.) When they go through their second death (Fire, beheading, stake through the heart and so on) their consciousness rejoins the soul.
Gillian has the unique property, thanks to Harold, of being a vampire with a soul. When he recalled her spirit she left the army of Azazel and returned to her immortal body. In some ways that gave her compassion and the ability to see the good in people, but it also gave her the ability to choose good from evil.
I’m pleased to say she’s one Hell of a woman.
Fortunately, I have marvelous eyesight. Midnight on a tide-washed beach is hardly the best place to read a letter from an ex lover, but since it wasn’t from my ex-lover I made do with removing my shades. Anyone seeing me would have seen the silhouette of a man with glowing red eyes and run have run screaming in terror unless they had the Sight. (Whereupon they would have seen a demon with glowing red eyes and would have run screaming in terror.)
The return address just said Bishopsmead. That could be anywhere. Most churches, especially Catholic ones, owed a lot of land and a church on a meadow wasn’t unusual. It might be possible to trace, though. There couldn’t be many places within affair distance with the name. Twenty or thirty miles at most, since the good Father had a motorbike. I’d seen a helmet and gloves in Lydia’s hallway, but she didn’t have a bike.
By star and street light, I read the last letter of Father Pete (no last name shown) to his faery lover.
My dearest Lydia.
I will always remember you fondly. Whatever demons you are possessed by (I laughed at that. Chance would be a fine thing) I urge you to seek the forgiveness of God. You are possessed by one of Hell’s denizens, but I thank you for bringing me back to the light of God.
I have strayed from the path of righteousness and avoided the grip of Satan by the guidance of His holy word. In penance for my sin I have given up my parish and returned to the seminary.
If you need guidance to rid yourself of the unholiness that possesses you, speak to Father Richmond, who will take over the parish from the 14th.
What a bum. I was glad Lydia had never received the letter. She was better off assuming he’d been horribly mutilated and killed. I looked back along the beach to the house, where the flicker of orange lit the low clouds from the east.
Until the morrow. X