Nothing else matters, but Tommy is finding the hard way survival isn’t that easy. The hunt for blood is tricky when humans know to fear the night. Bloodlust sits on the edge of his mind, urging him to become the monsters humans think he is. Vampire Forces, a special branch of police is determined to turn every vampire to ash. Tommy included.
The only human Tommy trusts is his twin brother. A powerful bond reached beyond death to connect them. But even with Danny’s help, Tommy struggles to understand the human world he left behind when he died. As the number of humans who mean more to Tommy than a meal grows, he’ll be forced to decide which instinct is stronger: human or vampire.
Can a vampire who doesn’t remember being human learn what it means to be human?
Being Human is a young adult paranormal fantasy about family, love, and discovering humanity.
It is said vampires forget their human lives. As soon as they are turned, the memories start fading. One theory is that it’s because of need. The need to sate the hunger and thirst overtakes their senses. It consumes their thoughts and washes every little bit of human away until they no longer remember their human life. Another theory is that their mind changes too much. They no longer know how to think, move, talk, or feel like a human. The final theory is simply that they let it go. They aren’t human anymore so what’s the point of remembering?
Maybe it’s a combination of the three.
What I do know is that vampires forget being human. I can vouch for that because I forgot being human. Can’t even remember the biggest details. Did I get along with my parents or was I a bad seed? Was I good in school? Did I enjoy sports? Did I have lots of friends? Or maybe even a girlfriend?
I don’t know any more or care. Why should I? That human life is behind me, forgotten with the first taste of blood.
Guess the first theory is accurate. Wake up in the evening with thirst burning in my throat, and by dawn it’s still there, simmering in my stomach. Sometimes I feel like a junkie, always looking for my next hit, my next meal—a victim according to humans.
There are some things from my human life that matter a lot. Events, places, and one human, in particular, I can’t forget. I know these things because they happened after I was turned.
The first thing that came to me, when I woke in a small clearing in the woods, was the darkness. It was dark, but at the same time…not. I could see everything; every tin detail was clear as if a light illuminated it. I stumbled around the small clearing, disoriented as the world bombarded me with sensations.
A gentle breeze howled in my ears and felt like talons ripping across my cheeks. The world beneath me felt unstable, as if it slowly rotated. When I reached to touch the ground, the grass beneath my fingers felt uneven and sharp, biting into my skin. I jerked my hand away, drawing a breath. The smells hit me like a hammer. Dirt, grass, rocks, trees, air, and animals that were no longer there. Hundreds of scents hung in the air; my nose twitched as it took every scent in and my mind distinguished everything.
As I stood in this familiar—yet alien world—I felt memories start to fade into nothing. What had happened in the clearing was the first memory to start slipping away. I didn’t try to hold onto it. It must have been a dream, I told myself. That couldn’t have happened to me! I needed to get home before I was grounded.
Maybe I had been a bad seed.
The journey home felt like it took forever, but in reality, took a matter of minutes. I stopped often. First, because my new sight had me stumbling, but as I grew accustomed to it, my stops became ones of confusion. Where was I going? The answer was home, but I grasped at the reasons why. Did I need something there? A drink? Could it be that simple? After all, my throat burned as I had swallowed a mouthful of hot coals. A need to quench that fire burned in my mind and drove me forward.
When I reached home, only a sliver of human denial persisted. It’s a bad dream. Get a glass of water and go to bed, it whispered. But a much more insistent part of me screamed, Get inside and satisfy your thirst.
Welcomed home, my parents fussed over me. My mother sighed I needed to get to bed, and my father scowled and scolded me for being irresponsible. Why had I disappeared without telling them where I was going? Didn’t I know vampires were waiting in the shadows to feed on the unsuspecting?
Humans knew that vampires existed. It had been an accident, an unintentional slip on the old vampire’s part. Tired of living, she sat outside to wait for the sun. The rays washed over her, and her body burst into flame while a tourist bus witnessed the event. The tourist company called the news stations. A few reporters investigated and found all that remained of the vampire—a pile of ashes. The ashes were sent to some scientists for testing, who discovered the ashes used to be human, but there was something not quite right—not quite human—about them. Then, a video taken by one of the tourists surfaced on the Internet then national news, and then it became open season on vampires.
After that, any vampire caught was bound and left to greet the morning sun. Or set on fire. Anything to make the vampire burn until nothing remained but a pile of ash. Scientists gathered the ashes to study and figure out how to best destroy a vampire. It was, of course, an approved genocide. Who would protest the killing of a creature so evil?
Now comes the part in the story where I’m expected to say everything turned out okay. My family was horrified I had been turned but accepted me as a vampire and we hid it well.
That’s not what happened. What happened was I hid in my room, huddled in the corner, as the overwhelming vampire instinct washed away the last remnants of my human life. Only one thought remained and that thought consumed me: Hunger. It devoured everything else and dominated my mind with its heat. It drove me out of my room and into the dark hallway. Rhythms echoed in my ears, sounding like a drum set that beat just for me. Maybe the rhythm was instinct, telling me what to do and where to go. At the time, all that mattered was the ravenous hunger consuming me. I knew exactly what would quench it.
When I opened the door to the room that contained the loudest rhythms, it didn’t make a sound.
The next few moments were the best of my new vampire life. Blood and heat, life slipping into death, all flowing into me like a river I couldn’t get enough of. I wasn’t aware of who I was feeding on, only that I was quenching the hunger and need. It was the most blissful thing I could do. No longer did I care about the humans who had been my parents. They meant only one thing to me now: sustenance.
My fangs deep in my mom’s neck, something came to me. A warm hand touched my shoulder and a rhythm behind beckoned to me. I abandoned the dead human in my arms; she fell away to the beige carpet next to the other lifeless human. Both were already forgotten as I turned to face the human behind me.
The rhythm halted and the noises stopped. Not a single creak or chirp was heard. Every breath stopped as the world paused.
He looked just like me!
I wasn’t sure how I knew that. The human memory of what I looked like had faded away, but I felt deep down, where my heart lay, I looked like him. Dark brown hair, fair skin, rosy cheeks, and eyes as blue as the sky. He was skinny too, sinewy and lanky. His voice would be mine as well; we were identical. Or used to be.
He looked like a healthy human boy and I knew that I didn’t. My skin had to be pale with a permanent sheen of death on it. Where my eyes that blue?
A tormented look shone in his blue eyes. His fingers grazed my cheek like he was afraid I wasn’t real. Then he whispered one word, and everything changed.
My brother said my name.
A weight slammed into me, crushing me with ugly realization. The humans behind me were more than blood. They were my parents and I had murdered them. The thought ripped through me like a tornado. My eyes twitched and my throat tightened like I was going to cry. Tears never came. My eyes stayed dry as I whispered, “Danny, what have I done?”
“It’s okay,” he said, instead of answering. He knelt in front of me. His eyes locked with mine and he placed his hands on my shoulders. “It’s okay,” he said my name again. “You’re going to be okay. Just relax.”
“How?” I asked unable to grasp the concept of relaxing. Every emotion felt foreign, as if they no longer applied to me. My voice must have sounded void of emotions because my brother’s face wavered and I heard whispers of his thoughts.
They say vampires stop caring. Has he already stopped caring about me?
I considered answering his thought but said something else instead. “I can’t stay here.”
“Why not?” he asked.
I looked at him, his eyes still locked with mine. Humans should never look into a vampire’s eyes. Thoughts whisper from behind the eyes, telling the vampire what the human is thinking, enabling the vampire to take control of those thoughts, and bend the human’s will.
“You can’t be seen with me,” I said, but I thought to myself, I’m terrified I’ll kill you. I didn’t want to scare him. He was acting so reserved; his voice didn’t tremble in fear. Any other human would have panicked, started screaming. The smell of their fear would have been like a drug I couldn’t resist.
Maybe my brother knew it was vital to stay calm. He knew that as my twin, I wouldn’t want to kill him, that I couldn’t—which was why I stopped when he touched me. The horror I had felt about murdering my parents was fading. There would be no guilt over their deaths or for any of my victims to come. Human belief is that vampires don’t feel. They say we are cold and emotionless monsters. That’s a lie.
Love, hate, or sorrow; a vampire still feels them. Our reactions are simply different. Faster and often missed by humans. If I had harmed my brother that night, I would have felt the emotions. Guilt and anger would have torn at me, demanding to know why I had hurt him.
“It doesn’t matter,” he said. “You can’t leave me. We have to stick together.”
I shoved him away. My strength sent him flying across the room. He landed against a wooden dresser with a yelp of pain. His cries tore at me, but I didn’t dare turn back. I dove out the window, landing on my feet and sprinted away. Behind me, I heard my brother yell my name, his voice filled with anguish.
“I have to leave,” I said despite knowing he wouldn’t be able to hear me. “Your brother is dead. There’s only me now.”
READER REVIEWS MaryBeth rated it 4 stars. Being Human isn't your typical vampire story. It's a story about family, bonds and learning what it takes to be human. I love that it spans several years, but not an insane amount of time. This vampire isn't hundreds of years old. The story is touching, entertaining and an overall good read. It gives you that paranormal fix you need but without shoving the same ole story in front of your face.
Cassie rated it 5 stars. This book is absolutely beautiful. I loved how it spanned many years with gaps in between and it focused on several different types of relationships. Unlike most vampire books, it didn't focus on romantic love alone and didn't even seem like it was going to focus on romantic love at all until almost the end. I also really liked how the author made me step back and look objectively at things that seem so normal, like brushing your teeth. This book is definitely worth the read for anyone who likes vampire books.