It all happened so quickly. One moment she was carefully handling those strange contact lenses that glowed with unnatural green light, and then, before she even had time to blink, they sprang out of her grasp and onto her eyes. She reached up to pry them out, but they wouldn't budge. They seemed to have merged with her eyes. If it weren't for the fact that the world as she saw it appeared suddenly alien, she would have thought that those bizarre pieces of glass had disappeared altogether.
When fourteen-year-old Mina Murray arrived at the front door of Westenra Manor, she was cold and shivering. The relentless downpour of icy water from the cloud-shrouded heavens had reduced her appearance to something remarkably similar to a drowned rat. "Can I please see Lucy?" Mina managed to ask through furiously chattering teeth, one slender hand obscuring the doorkeeper's view of her eyes.
The kindly doorkeeper ushered her inside, and then he escorted her to the Lady of the house. Mrs Westenra gasped in dismay upon seeing the poor child. She immediately ordered a bowl of warm chicken broth be prepared, and draped a thick woollen blanket across the child's shoulders. Once her teeth were no longer chattering quite so furiously, Mina asked Mrs Westenra the same question she had earlier asked the doorkeeper.
"I'm afraid you can't see Lucy at the moment. She's been off-colour all day, yet she begs me until I agree to wait awhile longer to call the doctor, and she refuses to grant me entry to her quarters." The dismay in madam's voice was clear to hear towards the end of her little speech.
Despair's corpse-like finger's grasped at Mina's throat. "Please Mrs Westenra," the young adolescent pleaded. "Let me see her." Mrs Westenra shook her head adamantly, but Mina begged and begged and begged until Mrs Westenra finally softened enough to agree to a compromise. "I'll tell her through the door that you are here, and we shall listen to what she desires."
At the door:
"I can't see her now. I'm sick."
"Are you sure? She did come all the way here in the rain."
"I can't! Go away Mother, Mina, please."
Mina detected fear in Lucy's voice.
Mrs Westenra turned to Mina. "Well, you heard her – "
"Please Lucy. I need your help. My eyes, Lucy, something's happened to my eyes! Something strange and supernatural…"
"Alright. You can come in, Mina."
Mina moved to open the door, but Mrs Westenra stopped her. "Show me your eyes!" she commanded. When Mina did not comply, Mrs Westenra forcefully wrenched the youngster's hands away from her eyes.
The adult screamed. "Witch! Demon!" she cried.
Mina glanced at a mirror situated conveniently nearby, and almost screamed herself at what she saw. Her previously brown eyes now literally glowed, the same eerie green as those odd contact lenses.
"Get thee away, demon. Nothing that creepy is getting anywhere near my daughter – "
"It's much too late for that, Mother," said Lucy's unmistakable voice, but the tone was much darker than either of the listeners had ever heard it. Lucy stood in the now-open doorway, but she had changed. Her once-brown eyes were yellow, her once-porcelain skin was the shade of drying cement, her once-red hair was black, and her once-flawless forehead was now host to a row of seven dark, cross-shaped scars.
"What have you done with my daughter, you unholy beast?!" shouted Mrs Westenra. She did not see the hurt flash across the "unholy beast's" face, but Mina did, and it made her heart ache. Then Lucy's expression hardened.
"Do you not recognise me, Mother?"
"Why do you call me Mother? What have you done with my Lucy?"
"I am she – "
"Lies! Get thee behind me, Satan!" Crying hysterically, the distressed woman fled down the stairs.
"Lucy," whispered Mina. "Oh sweet Lucy, what has happened to us?"
"I don't know… Those eyes, oh God, those eyes," Lucy breathed, and then a peculiar change came over her demeanour. Mina shook with terror. Never before had she felt fear in dear Lucy's presence, but now it was overpowering, and Lucy herself was the cause. "I don't like them," the young aristocrat hissed, and Mina stumbled backwards into the wall.
Lucy lunged forward so that her arms, her body and the wall formed a constricting cage around Mina. Then she stepped closer, and her body pressed up against Mina's. "Oh Mina," she sighed. "My exquisite little darling." And then she licked away Mina's tears. The petite brunette went limp, sagging against her dear friend.
"I love you, Lucy."
"And I you. But there's something about those eyes – "
Mina's slender frame was wracked with sobs. "I never wanted them, they just happened. Please don't hate me. If you hate me, I am sure that I shall die."
"Hush now. I don't hate you, you sweet, naïve darling. I could never hate you, my Mina."
"I hate these eyes that would dare come between us. I hate them. If you so bid it, I shall gorge them out, and wear a smile while I do it."
"My dear, sweet martyr. Jesus has nothing on you, my Mina. You're so stressed, so tired." Then she began to chant. "Sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep…" Her voice was hypnotic. Weights seemed attached to Mina's eyelids, and all-to-soon she lost consciousness. She would have crashed into the ground were Lucy not there to catch her.
When Mina came to she could see nothing but darkness. She felt her face, and there was a cloth bandage covering her eyes.
"Lucy? Lucy? Are you there, Lucy?"
"Hush now, my Mina. It's alright. I'm here, darling. Hush."
That was Lucy. Mina would recognise her voice anywhere.
"Why am I blindfolded, Lucy?"
"Dear Mina…" Lucy began, her voice's tone nervous as hell. "Others came for me; others like me, my true family. They snatched us from right under the overgrown noses of Mother and that foolish priest she called to exorcise us." The word 'Mother' was said in such a way that Mina was sure Lucy sneered as she spoke it. Mina said nothing, and presently Lucy continued; "They're all really good and kind, my Mina; a much better family than Madam Westenra ever was. I'll properly introduce you to them soon – "
"The blindfold, Lucy… What about the blindfold?"
"Ah, well… That stuff infecting your eyes is evil, you see." Now Lucy's voice was even more nervous. "It's called Innocence, and it's been known to attack and destroy the body and mind of hosts that displease it, so we got to it first. We shattered it into many little pieces, and crushed it until it was nothing. But it already had a firm hold on your eyes, so they were crushed too. I'm so sorry, Mina." The last sentence was said in a tone that was truly distressed and apologetic.
"How can you be so sure it was evil?" Mina icily inquired.
"Why, because my family said so, of course!"
"How can you be certain that they're telling the truth?"
"Do you doubt them?" Anger was unmistakable in Lucy's tone.
"I don't know them. They're strangers to me, and they're strangers to you too, Lucy."
Lucy did not reply, but Mina heard her footsteps striking the ground much more heavily than normal as she retreated, probably to spend time with her so-called family. Mina simmered in silence as pride prevented her from calling out for Lucy.
Time passed unmarked for Mina, who had no way of recording it. No trace of sound reached her ears, and she knew not whether it was night or day, even. She thought she might go insane from the sheer nothingness of it, but she remained obstinately silent. She amused herself by attempting to identify the various scents that wafted into her nostrils and by mapping out her immediate surroundings through the wonderful power of touch. Sometimes she stuck out her tongue to taste the air as though she were a snake. Never before had she realised just how much could be gained from those three senses if only one were forced to rely upon them.
It was Lucy who eventually came back to Mina, crawling on her figurative knees. She begged for Mina's forgiveness, and Mina embraced her, hushing her and reassuring her that all was forgiven. "You only did what you thought best for me. Besides, who knows; maybe you were right. Maybe it really was evil and it would have destroyed me. Maybe you have saved my life."
"I am certain of it, my Mina. That it was evil, that is. That I saved you… who knows? You may have pleased it and lived with your eyes intact. I'm so sorry."
"But then we wouldn't be together, would we? After all, your family says it's evil. I pledged that I would gladly gouge out those eyes for you, and this way was much less painful, wouldn't you say?"
"Come, my beloved martyr." Lucy sounded a lot happier now. "It's time you met the family." Lucy's hand was slipped into Mina's, and she guided her along as might a faithful Labrador.
Tyki Mykk, Rhode Kamelot, Jasdero, Debitto, Skin Bolic, Lulubell, and the Millennium Earl. All of them spoke kindly to Mina and she found herself relaxing. "See?" said Lucy in a superior tone. "I told you they were good. I told you they were kind." She kissed and caressed Mina, and Mina did the same for her. They brought each other pleasure beyond anything either of them had felt before, and Mina became Lucy's completely. Her willing slave and most devoted companion.
When Mina heard the Noahs, Lucy's beloved family, speak of people, mainly exorcists, they had killed and sometimes even tortured, she turned a deaf ear. She would have murdered for Lucy's sake. Certainly, she accepted murder for the sake of her beloved.
She would have died for Lucy as well. She even suspected that that may one day be the case if what she heard of the Millennium Earl's goals was any indication. He is writing the script of mankind's demise, and we the Noahs have a key role to play in that drama.
Eventually Rhode Kamelot came to her when she was alone. "Mina, Mina, Lucy's Mina," sang her little girl's voice.
"What is it Rhode?"
"Lucy is consumed by thoughts of you. They cause her pain, such pain. She does not eat or sleep. Tell me Mina, would you die for her?"
Mina answered without hesitation. "Yes. Will you be the one to kill me?"
"You're a good girl, Mina. I'll make it quick."
"Thank you. I know that's unusual for you."
"Tell Lucy that I love her."
"Of course," Rhode replied, solemn. Then pain erupted briefly as something sharp penetrated Mina's heart. She was dead in less than a second.