This was written as a creative response to Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu, for my 19th Century English Literature class. I don't own any of the characters, nor do I pretend to.

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The Christian church teaches that all men are sinners, that depravity is an inherent trait of the human soul. It is said that piety is the pursuit of Godly ideals in spite of this fundamental wickedness; and that salvation is derived, not through any redeeming goodness of the individual, but through mindless submission to the laws of the Creator (or, rather, the laws that mankind has fabricated on behalf of the Creator) and through rigid self-denial and exaggerated humility. Those were the teachings of our revered minister in Karnstein; and there was a time, long ago now, when I believed them whole-heartedly with the innocence and naïveté of a girl who has not yet learned the true meaning of sin.

Blood, richer and more intoxicating than any of the finest wines mankind has tasted, trickled smoothly down her throat. She caressed the cheek of the sleeping girl beneath her, savouring the smooth texture of her skin.

"You will die for me, for I love you so." Words mumbled against her throat, even as she drank. Laura whimpered, frightened by her dark dreams and the unconscious sensation of blood being drawn from her veins. Carmilla shushed her, kissing the puncture in her skin soothingly. "You will be mine, dearest." Fervent, passionate – spoken with the ardour of a lover, but with much more sinister a purpose.

It was neither my desire nor intention to become an abomination in the eyes of God and mankind: rather, my fate was thrust upon me as I lay, one stifling summer night, in my virginal bedchamber. For as long as I exist I shall never forget the terror I felt as that brutal spectre fell upon me, penetrating my throat with its teeth and sucking, at its leisure, my very life force from me. I remember how I writhed and struggled, unable to cry out, as the suffocating pressure engulfed me and I was cast, empty and wretched, into a dark void and left for dead.

She was driven to this – she craved it. Once upon a time she had been Countess Mircalla: beautiful, virtuous, beloved. She did not choose her actions, did not have that power. Who was she to oppose the workings of Nature? She bit down with renewed vigour, shivering with pleasure as the hot, sweet liquid warmed the pit of her hollow, icy stomach.

She would not push Laura too far. She pulled back, lovingly licking the last precious drops of blood from the wound. The girl was agitated, face pale and distressed even in slumber. Carmilla knew it would not be long until she succumbed. They would be together, completely together, at last, and Laura would finally understand. The thought made her undead heart pound with rapture and longing.

Carmilla loved Laura, because Laura made her feel properly alive in a way she had not experienced since her transformation well over a century ago. Her affection proved that she still had a soul, did it not? Her other victims were mere vessels to sate her basic needs, but Laura – Laura was special. Carmilla knew that Laura acquiesced willingly to their nightly meetings, knew that deep down she desired them as well; Laura loved her, and she would join her happily in death as two soulmates to face the joys and perils of the afterlife together.

A veil was lifted from over my eyes the night I was visited by the spectre, and at last I saw the world clearly for what it was. My beloved Creator had forsaken me; I was neither dead nor alive, and the only thing that remained within me was a burning, all-consuming thirst for that sweetest of liquors which had been stolen from my very veins. Now Laura shall join me in this wretched half-life, and wretched it shall be no more; when we are alike, neither of us shall be deemed wicked anymore, and God himself will be forced to spare our immortal souls from the fiery pits of hell.

Carmilla that knew redemption was within her grasp. They said that vampires went to hell, but she knew better. No God should be wicked enough to damn his children to eternal torment for a sin that they were not accountable for. If she truly was evil, it was only because God and Nature had made her so.

The night grew late. Softly as a shadow Carmilla slipped from the room of her beloved, passing through the bolted doors and outside into the castle grounds. The moon was bright, and the grass soft and dewy, and she spun around like a whimsical child and relished the touch of the cold night air on her warm skin still tingling with Laura's blood. Passing wraith-like down the lane, she fair flew the distance to her secret tomb and sank languidly down into her blood-filled coffin. Her eyes drifted closed, and she surrendered herself, with a most luxurious melancholy, to that state of nothingness which is the closest thing to sleep a revenant can ever know.

They say that great suffering begets great rewards in heaven. Surely then, I will be blessed above all others when I am at last brought to the Holy realm; for I have known more suffering than mortal man could ever imagine. When my dearest friend, my beautiful Laura, joins me, my sorrow and delight shall be complete. She will not deny me, for she loves me and will never leave me. Day by day she grows more beautiful and more weary – soon her mortal life will be finished. I will receive her, and she will walk this lonely world by my side until Nature relinquishes its bitter hold on us both and we are permitted to sink into oblivion.