Charles Ferrers enters the room. He’s tall, lean and immaculately dressed. Although our meeting venue isn’t formal, he is in a crispy white shirt, handmade suit and silk tie. He could be in his forties or fifties- I can’ tell.
HT: Pleased to meet your Mr Ferrers.
He shakes my hand. His skin is cold, his grip firm.
CF: Delighted, Mrs Treharne.
We sit down in the armchairs I’ve arranged with side of the coffee table. I want to keep some distance between us.
HT: I hope your associate, Mr Jones, briefed you. I’m writing a book and I thought you’d make an interesting subject. Is it okay, if I ask you a few questions?
CF: Of course my dear. I can assure you I would not be here if I wasn’t amenable to your request. To come here, but be un-cooperative would simply be rude.
Ferrers scans my garb and I immediately regret my choice of clothing. Shifting in my seat, I try to look composed. I decide that concentrating on the sheet of paper on my clipboard is the way to go. Avoid eye contact. Ask questions. Write down answers. Get out of there.
HT: Can I ask how old you are Mr Ferrers?
CF: In vampire years? Well let’s see… one… two… three… let’s call it three hundred and fifty years old. Time has very little meaning to me now. I rarely think of it.
HT: So you were probably remember the English Civil War? How fascinating. Tell me, did you fight?
CF: Me? No. I was a priest, although the Commonwealth of England put pay to that. Supporters of the King were not treated particularly kindly. My brother complied – weasely little turncoat that he was. He converted to the new faith, collaborated in order to keep the family estate and turned me over for conspiracy and fanatical teachings.
HT: Did you betray the Crown?
CF: Not at all, not in the true sense. The King was the King, whether he that was murdered or he in exile. I suppose I betrayed the Crown in the sense of the Government, the State at the time. But it was only by my beliefs.
I look up from my clipboard and he smiles a slow, dry smile at me.
Of course, the estate came back to me in the end… and my brother… well… he regretted what he did.
HT: Should I ask how?
CF: I shouldn’t.
HT: How do you reconcile being a vampire and being a former priest? You must kill people, right?
CF: Mrs Treharne. I’m quite the expert in the ways of feeding. I would only kill you if I wanted to and I’m sure you won’t give me cause for that… will you? For all you know, I’ve fed on you already. The wound heals quickly and the venom my bite releases not only helps that process, but has a somewhat anaesthetic quality. You would forget the whole affair.
HT: You make it sound as if you’re considerate? Do you feel guilt? Do you feel any human emotion?
CF: Oh Mrs Treharne, I feel a great deal indeed. I have even been in love… once. But years of being part of humanity, of observing its whims and its worries, have taught me to pay them emotions little attention.
HT: So you don’t get lonely? Three hundred and something years is a long time on your own.
Ferrers grins and a mischievous spark dances in his eyes.
CF: Dearest Mrs Treharne, I don’t think I’ll be alone for very long…. do you?
Charle Ferrers is just one of the recurring characters in the Sophie Morgan Vampire Series. The first book in the series is Relative Strangers: A Modern Vampire Story. Death in the Family is the second Sophie Morgan vampire book.
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Buy the sequel, Death in the Family, here
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Helen Treharne is the creator of the developing “Sophie Morgan Vampire Series” as well as short stories and other prose. Helen lives with her husband, three cats, an entrenched tea addiction and an increasing collection of stringed instruments. When she’s not writing she spends her time daytime hours working in communications and volunteers for a feline welfare charity. She also can’t stop purchasing stationery. She can be found at her blog, Facebook page and on Twitter.