12/15/04 Update: Ther is actually a poem called "The Gift" By Li-Young Lee, and it actually pertainst to the story...

My Dream came first, the Poem was discovered second.

4/25/04 Update: Edited grammar and some connotation; nothing drastic. So please, if you see any grammar or spelling problems, I would be grateful if notified.

I have gotten a few reviews, encouraging me to write more to this story. Sorry to say, but I have not yet, and originally really never intended to. :ehheh: Like said below, this is based on a dream I had and saw it as a self-contained story. Currently I have no ideas for what the next chapter would be, so until then, it is as it stands. Well, heck, I don't know...

Don't worry, this doesn't mean that I'll never write another chapter, just not right now.

Note: I actually based this story on a dream I had. The first part is almost exact to what I dreamed (With a bit of embellishment of course); the second part is more of a daydream I worked out in my mind immediately after waking up.

So if it makes no sense… that is why.

"The Gift"

To pull the metal splinter from my palm
my father recited a story in a low voice.
I watched his lovely face and not the blade.
Before the story ended, he'd removed
the iron sliver I thought I'd die from.
I can't remember the tale,
but hear his voice still, a well
of dark water, a prayer.
And I recall his hands,
two measures of tenderness
he laid against my face,
the flames of discipline
he raised above my head.
Had you entered that afternoon
you would have thought you saw a man
planting something in a boy's palm,
a silver tear, a tiny flame.
Had you followed that boy
you would have arrived here,
where I bend over my wife's right hand.
Look how I shave her thumbnail down
so carefully she feels no pain.
Watch as I lift the splinter out.
I was seven when my father
took my hand like this,
and I did not hold that shard
between my fingers and think,
Metal that will bury me,
christen it Little Assassin
Ore Going Deep for My Heart.
And I did not lift up my wound and cry,
Death visited here!
I did what a child does
when he's given something to keep,
I kissed my father.

Li-Young Lee

The Gift

It was the Hellsing Organization's 30th annual anniversary. The table was surrounded by the Hellsing family, and the members of the Royal Protestant Knights with their families. Spread before them, a large Christmas feast; an annual tradition.

The young boy sat at the far end of the table among the other children. He was only ten or so years of age, but his serious face made him seem much older. His dark brown eyes peeked out from among his wispy black hair, making him look rather impish, comparable one who is carrying a great responsibility or secret. He looked around casually, bored, almost, with the night's small talk. Everyone looked almost ridiculous in their extravagant suits and finery. His mother and father sat opposite him, but more towards Sir Van Hellsing, who was at the head, so it would be almost impossible to engage them in any conversation... "Boring, boring, boring…" he thought sulkily. All the children around him were either too young to be of any interest, or too old to take any interest in him. Sir Van Hellsing was not that exciting either, just another old politician; nor were his two boys, both of whom were much too young to even be at the table.

Only one guest was of any interest, a tall black haired man who sat in the shadows on Sir Van Hellsings' left. The boy had been sneaking glimpses at him all evening. He was dressed simply in a black suit, the gold buttons shining dully in the candlelight, with white gloves covering his slim-fingered hands. His eyes even looked red, if you can imagine; that was really something of interest. But he was quiet, almost eerily so; he had not even said a word to anyone all night. He was only observing the guests quietly, like some kind of trained and broken dog…

"Angel, dear," his mother interrupted his reverie. Why must she insist upon calling him by his pet name? "this present if from Sir Abraham himself." she said softly, as she passed a small package to his waiting hand.

He looked at it inquisitively. "But I just got here, what would Van Hellsing want with…?" Nevertheless, his father's stern look silenced him.

It was a small black box, printed with the Hellsing coat of arms, and tied with a silver ribbon. A most curious present indeed. He opened it, but was rather disappointed. A single bullet lay in the box. He tipped it into his other hand and held it up to the light. It glinted unnaturally. "What is this?" he mused aloud. Some of the conversation stopped and looked at him. He grew uncomfortable under their stares. "No, really, what is this? A bullet? Some kind of a joke?" He brought it close to his face again, examining its shiny metal and casing. "What's it made of?"

To his surprise and dread, the tall black haired man rose from his seat and walked the length of the table to where the boy was seated. It grew deathly quiet, and the air developed a way of sticking in your lungs when you tried to breathe. If he had thought that the man was tall when seated, he was a giant when he stood. He looked to be about seven feet tall, towering over the others, and obviously foreign. He was not a native Englishman, that was certain. The man now stood before him, and kneeling down to the boy's eye level, whispered, "You don't want it? Then you may give it to me."

The boy was terrified, what was he trying to tell him? "No, no, I think I'll keep it, I just want to know what it is…" he whispered back.

The stares from the other guests were boring holed in his flesh as the man spoke. "Then let me tell you," he said as he drew one of his gloves off. "Or rather, let me show you." he added as he extended the un-gloved hand. Unsure what to do, the boy dropped the bullet into it. Almost immediately the man's skin began to burn and smoke from where the silver touched him. Almost everyone jumped in surprise, especially this unfortunate fellow whose skin was suffering. Turning to the boy, the man said calmly, "This bullet is made of the most precious baptized silver, cased in gold. A single touch to a Vampire or Werewolf's skin will burn them, send it ricocheting into their body and it will turn the demon to dust. This, boy, is one of the most powerful weapons against the forces of darkness and evil." A small pool of blood was now forming around where the bullet lay; the skin becoming blackened and raw looking. Drawn in by curiosity and horror, the boy could not wrench his gaze from the man's degenerating hand. He leaned closer. Smiling, the man flicked the bullet into the air and caught it with his gloved hand. He held up his other one for the boy to see the wound caused him by the silver. The boy gasped in compassion, and then shock as the burn healed right before his eyes. The man slipped on his glove, and dropped the bullet back to the hand of its proper owner.

With deepened respect, the boy placed it reverently back into its box. "Thank you." he said quietly.

The man nodded, and strode back towards Van Hellsing. He couldn't hear what hey were saying to each other, but eventually the tall man left, lightening the atmosphere somewhat. Van Hellsing turned his gaze back towards the dinner party, and smiled kindly. "Do you understand now, Walter?" he asked the boy.

Walter looked from the face of his mother to his father's, then back to Sir Van Hellsing. "Yes sir, I do."

"And your thoughts on my special agent…?"

"Most… out of the ordinary fellow, I suppose sir."