Precisely why he believed her was harder to glean.
Clearly the world had changed. That was not surprising. What was surprising was the degree. The evidence was all around Vala, even if she had not found a newspaper and seen the date. It was fortunate enough that she’d been brought back. The longer one laid in torpor the less chance there was of being revived... but less than seventy years, that was truly remarkable. But not so remarkable as the changes in the world...
It had seemed to her when she had last been active that automobiles were everywhere. That had been naive. Now they were truly everywhere. So many and so different – almost unrecognizable.
The newspaper she had found was full of colour, the photos were so clear and it had been filled with so many words she did not recognize. English was not her best language, but even the context was hard to follow – how could this be a mere seventy years?
And how had she made it to North America’s West Coast? It could have been worse. She could have found herself in the isolationist States. At least Canada had the good sense to rely upon the aid of its’ founding countries. America on the other hand would be hard pressed to make something of itself by separating from the other nations of the world.
And the girl... there was a taint to her blood that had repelled Vala. That was something she had never felt before. The girl had seen her, witnessed as Vala had feasted, and she escaped. That could not be allowed.
Vala cursed herself for her recoil. There was no reason that she couldn’t have eliminated the witness, even if she didn’t drink from her. And now the girl had told someone else – her father.
When the girl had escaped into the night she left behind many personal items. It had not taken long for Vala to sort the girl’s identification cards from those of her deceased compatriots, but navigating this foreign city had been another story entirely. It had taken her almost all night to get her bearings. She’d had almost no opportunity to orient herself in this new modern world as a result.
As day broke she was forced into the storm sewers which had not been as effective as she was accustomed. While the sewer itself was in better condition than the systems of Europe she remembered, it was small – clearly not expected to be frequented by maintenance workers – and it appeared to be the storm season. Progress was slow as she navigated primarily by educated guess and mostly against the substantial flow.
As night fell she resurfaced and found her way to the window where she now perched.
The girl told her father she had seen a vampire - that they had been attacked. The girl told her father the story of Vala’s revival and of the slaughter from her petty human viewpoint.
The father told the girl that the news supported her story. The details didn’t seem right to Vala. He was talking about vampirism like it was a plague. That it had suddenly struck the city – at a hospital downtown. But she could attribute that to her own unfamiliarity with his source. Radio had clearly changed in her time in torpor – it now included pictures and who knew what else – taste, touch and smell for all she knew – that might skew her own interpretation of the circumstances.
She couldn’t take the chance. I came too close to letting my presence be known already. The girl and her father would have to die. With luck he wouldn’t share the taint of his child and Vala would be able to feast upon him.
The window burst inward without warning.
“Sarah, run.” He said, positioning himself between the skeletal figure and his daughter.
“Sarah, I said ‘run!’” He bellowed as he pulled a parasol from behind her closet door. Not much of a weapon at all.
The last sight she ever had of her father, he stood toe to toe with the demi-human beast that had invaded their home, futilely slashing at it with a flimsy girlish toy of an umbrella.