[[I wrote this before the war, as I felt that Evangeline would not survive. She very nearly didn’t. But here is Evangeline’s letter to Merris to be read on her death.
It was almost as hard to write as Evangeline’s backstory – but for very different reasons. I think I am both glad and upset that Merris never had to read this.]]
To my dearest Merris.
If you are reading this, then I am really sorry but I have not made it through the war. If I do not make it through the war, then I hope I met my end doing something heroic so that maybe I might be remembered in high regard.
The first time that I met you, Merris Lucan, you awoke something inside me that I had never felt before. When I saw the broken man that Elenor Rose was keeping, I knew that I wanted to save you. Though you are not my first childe, had things been different I would have wished that you were my only childe. You almost made my dead heart beat again, something similar to falling in love.
But what would I know about love.
I have never revealed my past to anyone Merris, nor do I intend to reveal it to many others. But as my childe I feel that you have the right to know.
I was born in 1861. And as it was the Victorian era my Mother and Father called me Victoria. I have vague memories of my young childhood. My Mother and Father would fight a lot. Though I was too young to really understand what was going on. My Father died in 1874, in the year that I turned thirteen, and we moved out of our gorgeous house in Blackfriars to an awful lodging house on George Street, around Whitechapel – it obviously isn’t there now, and the streets will have changed a lot, but that area was… not a nice place to live in. The room we rented was damp and cold, and once my Mother and I found a job a fair walk away as seamstresses, the room we were working in was even more damp and cold, and poorly lit. This, eventually took its toll on my Mother, and the day before my 15th birthday I awoke late to find myself in an empty bed, and a letter addressed to me lying on the pillow where my Mother should have been. She confessed that she was dying, and that she didn’t have long left. So she had gone to die somewhere where I would not wake up next to her suffocated oxygen starved body. She didn’t want me to see the way her fingers clawed for breath at her throat, as she’d put it.
What was I to do? I was a 14 year old Victorian orphan. I packed up my things and was leaving. I didn’t know where I was to go – I hadn’t thought that far ahead – but I knew I had to leave. My Mother warned me that the same fate would come to me if I stayed. I was about to creep out of the front door, when the owner of the lodging house (I forget her name now) introduced me to Mrs Farnborough (I’ll never forget her). She said that she would take me in. I left with her, and we went to her lodging house. It was nicer, much nicer, and in not such a bad area of Whitechapel. That was when she introduced me to my new line of work. I shan’t dilly around the subject Merris. I was a prostitute. She kept me working, washing and cleaning (and only working, washing and cleaning) until I turned seventeen. I cannot lie, the man who took my virginity paid a lot of money to do so. And from then on, I became one of the many night flowers to roam Whitechapel. It paid well, because I was good at it. I was a lucky one.
And then I fell pregnant. I was out of work for a while, obviously, but when my darling daughter was born it was all worth it. My darling Lucy Grace. But sadly I didn’t have the chance to hold her little life for long. In 1888, the year I was embraced, she would have been nine years old. I hadn’t thought of her much, until an awful encounter with an awful man lead me to think of her. Amidst being beaten, and being raped several times on this particular evening, my mind took me away from the room and thought of her. Due to the… cleaning products I was required to use after each customer I could no longer bear children. It was an awful night. I hated myself. I thought of ending it all, to try and get rid of the nightmares this one man had left behind. But I didn’t. I was embraced on the night when Jack the Ripper killed two victims, on my 27th birthday. I’ll cut to the chase. I was embraced by Jack the Ripper. I was only speaking to Elizabeth that evening, and I find out that he would have been caught had it not have been for me. He led me down an alley, before threatening to kill me. I persuaded him not to, although I suppose he did. I have no idea why he sired me. But he left me. He gave me my surname – he called me Miss Gray because that was the colour that my skin went when he drained the life from me. I’ll never forget those words. I picked Evangeline. He left me to suffer being a kindred alone and in the darkness.
I never wanted <u>that</u> for you, Merris. I’d been through it. I care not for what gangrels are supposed to be like. I just care for you. I’d got a family. Children.
Your daughter is beautiful. Helena is beautiful. Your family is beautiful. Though I am jealous of you, for everything you have. You have a daughter, and someone that your heart would beat for if I had not stopped it. I am a monster. And for that I am sorry, please forgive me. But had I not sired you, then goodness knows where you would be, where Lucy would be, where Helena would be. Look after them. They need you more than you know.
I suppose that in all essence, Merris, I love you. From the moment I met you, for the moment I chose to sire you, I have always loved you. Thank you for showing me that my withered, unbeating, dead heart was capable of being alive enough to love.
Wherever I am now, it is better than walking all ages of the Earth alone. Do not fret for me though, my dearest Merris, for if there is a life beyond undeath then at least I can walk it with my daughter.
All my love in this difficult time.