Someone once asked me why I looked so young for my age. (And no, I’m not revealing it!) I laughingly replied it’s all genetic, so I couldn’t take the credit for it. But, it started me wondering, what if… a young woman, named Laura Dantonville, had actually stopped ageing in her mid twenties as a result of her family’s strange DNA? And it wasn’t until she came of a certain age, the frightening truth was revealed to her?
That’s how, Bloodgifted was born.
I always loved stories of the paranormal. As a teen I used to sneak into the living room late at night and switch on the TV to watch programs like, Night Stalker, Dark Shadows (the original series) and Thriller. When I was seventeen I read Bram Stoker’s, Dracula, and that cemented my relationship with the paranormal.
Ever since then, vampires have been my dark heroes. So, it was inevitable, one day I’d write my own.
Here’s a sneak peak -
Thou shalt not fear birthdays, has been my motto for the past few years. And I saw no reason to change it, regardless that this year I was turning that much-dreaded big Five-O.
For anyone else that may have been daunting enough, but for me, it’s even more so, since my family’s pedigree is unique, even weird. It appears there’s something in our genetic makeup that decreases the rate of ageing up to forty percent. With me, it’s more like fifty. Lately, it’s become even harder to convince people my unnatural youthful looks have nothing to do with any nip and tuck or a fabulous moisturising crème. And, it’s interesting the way women in particular, scrutinise me with almost X-Ray vision trying to spot any evidence of cosmetic surgery. Good luck to them! For one thing, I’m an absolute chicken when it comes to sharp and pointy objects and needles of any kind slip into that category.
But I can understand. Who wouldn’t mind looking twenty-something in their fifties?
I keep a photo from my twenty-fifth birthday in the top drawer of my dressing table, and when I turned thirty I took it out and compared the face in the photo to the one staring out at me from the mirror. They were the same. I felt chuffed. Who wouldn’t?
I put that photo away till my fortieth, when I again did my little facial self-examination, and then this morning, on my fiftieth. There was no change. But just to be absolutely sure, and prove to myself I wasn’t on some delusional trip, I took my picture on my mobile phone and sent it, together with my twenty-fifth birthday photo, to my aunt Judy, my father’s sister. She and I share the same genetic anomaly and like me, her biological age lags far behind her chronological.
Although approaching her centenary, my aunt appears to be no more that her mid fifties, still slim, little grey, few lines and the picture of health.
It didn’t take long for her to ring me. ‘Happy Birthday Laura, dear. Will I see you at your parents’ tonight?’
‘Of course! They’re expecting me. I couldn’t possibly disappoint. Besides, it’s tradition!’ I laughed. ‘Now, I assume you received my text. Tell me I’m not delusional and the photos are the same.’
She laughed lightly. ‘They are the same, so there’s no need to question your state of mind.’
‘That’s a relief. So, how long am I going to look like this? Not that I’m complaining mind, but this is really getting strange and just a little… you know, inconvenient.’
I actually gave up travelling overseas as I could no longer handle the suspicious looks I received from hypersensitive customs officials, not to mention the interrogations and strip searches in little back rooms, all because my passport photo doesn’t match my chronological age. After the last experience I decided it was best to holiday at home, or resort to finding a disreputable solicitor who could provide me with a false birth certificate.
‘Exactly what I’d like to talk to you about,’ my aunt replied.
‘That sounds ominous.’
‘No, no not at all. Everything’s fine dear, and we’ll talk tonight. Now I have to go. Enjoy your day.’ She rang off. Her voice had sounded cheery enough, yet beneath, I sensed a certain undercurrent.
The last time we had ‘a little talk’ revolved around my delayed maturity. In high school everyone else had hit puberty but me. I was the odd kid out, too self-conscious to tell even my closest friends I still hadn’t gotten my periods. I was in Year Twelve. My mum had prepared me when I was younger, but neither of us expected it to be this late. She had no idea, but Aunt Judy did.
‘That’s normal for us, dear,’ she had said. ‘Physically, emotionally… you will mature far more slowly than everyone else. See it as a plus! When you reach your fifties, you’ll still be young in so many ways. What woman wouldn’t want that?’
At the time I didn’t appreciate the full meaning of that.
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